Potential Therapeutic Role of Mesenchymal-Derived Stem Cells as an Alternative Therapy to Combat COVID-19 through Cytokines Storm

Cells. 2022 Aug 29;11(17):2686. doi: 10.3390/cells11172686.


Medical health systems continue to be challenged due to newly emerging COVID-19, and there is an urgent need for alternative approaches for treatment. An increasing number of clinical observations indicate cytokine storms to be associated with COVID-19 severity and also to be a significant cause of death among COVID-19 patients. Cytokine storm involves the extensive proliferative and hyperactive activity of T and macrophage cells and the overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Stem cells are the type of cell having self-renewal properties and giving rise to differentiated cells. Currently, stem cell therapy is an exciting and promising therapeutic approach that can treat several diseases that were considered incurable in the past. It may be possible to develop novel methods to treat various diseases by identifying stem cells' growth and differentiation factors. Treatment with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in medicine is anticipated to be highly effective. The present review article is organized to put forward the positive arguments and implications in support of mesenchymal stem cell therapy as an alternative therapy to cytokine storms, to combat COVID-19. Using the immunomodulatory potential of the MSCs, it is possible to fight against COVID-19 and counterbalance the cytokine storm.

Keywords: COVID-19; cytokine storm; inflammation; mesenchymal stem cells; stem cell therapy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / therapy
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome* / therapy
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells* / metabolism


  • Cytokines

Grant support

This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2020R1I1A2066868), the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2020R1A5A2019413).