Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes for COVID-19 Therapy, Preclinical and Clinical Evidence

Int J Stem Cells. 2021 Aug 30;14(3):252-261. doi: 10.15283/ijsc20182.


Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus, named COVID-19, researchers are looking for a treatment to stop the devastating pandemic. During these efforts, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), the potential next generation of therapeutic methods with wide application for diseases, have successfully controlled cytokine storm following the virus infection. However, the use of MSCs has been limited due to the ethical issues, immunogenicity, and genetic modifications. Therefore, exosomes were introduced as a suitable substitute for the MSCs. In the case of COVID-19 treatment, both MSCs and exosomes exert their beneficial effect mainly through the management of the cytokine storm. This study provided the underlying mechanisms for the effect of exosomes on COVID-19 treatment and presented several preclinical and clinical studies of exosomes for COVID-19 treatment.

Keywords: COVID-19; Cytokine storm; Exosome; Stem cells.

Publication types

  • Review