Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the key cause for the morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19 infections. Recent clinical evidences suggest chronic release of pro-inflammatory cytokines as a prominent etiological factor. Adult stem cells are known to secrete potent immunomodulatory and bioactive compounds. We propose a nebulizer assisted treatment of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) Secretome as a therapy which will counterbalance the COVID-19 induced cytokine storm as well as promote the regeneration of alveolar tissue attributed to the intrinsic cytokines and growth factor present in the Secretome. Intranasal administration of Secretome will not only protect against the COVID-19 associated complications but also bring down the necessity of the ventilator reducing the burden on health care infrastructure.
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) is cell surface receptor responsible for SARS-CoV-2 entry highly expressed in maternal-fetal interface including placenta cells e.g. stromal cells, prevascular cells of deciduas, cytotrophoblast, syncytotrophoblast. Several studies reported lack of transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from a COVID-19 positive mother to fetus suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 may not be transmitted from mother to her child due to some placenta barriers but may be replicating inside the placenta. Our earlier studies demonstrated that human placenta organ culture supports the replication of Japanese Encephalitis(JE) virus indicating their susceptibility and possibility to support propagation of other viruses. Based on our previous experience and present work, we propose that human Placental organ culture will be an ideal in vitro model for propagation of COVID-19 as it has the requisite receptors and tissue architecture needed for virus replication and vaccine development.