The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has occurred in China and around the world. SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with severe pneumonia rapidly develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and die of multiple organ failure. Despite advances in supportive care approaches, ARDS is still associated with high mortality and morbidity. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based therapy may be an potential alternative strategy for treating ARDS by targeting the various pathophysiological events of ARDS. By releasing a variety of paracrine factors and extracellular vesicles, MSC can exert anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic, anti-microbial, and pro-angiogenic effects, promote bacterial and alveolar fluid clearance, disrupt the pulmonary endothelial and epithelial cell damage, eventually avoiding the lung and distal organ injuries to rescue patients with ARDS. An increasing number of experimental animal studies and early clinical studies verify the safety and efficacy of MSC therapy in ARDS. Since low cell engraftment and survival in lung limit MSC therapeutic potentials, several strategies have been developed to enhance their engraftment in the lung and their intrinsic, therapeutic properties. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of the mechanisms and optimization of MSC therapy in ARDS and highlighted the potentials and possible barriers of MSC therapy for COVID-19 patients with ARDS.
Emerging and re-emerging RNA viruses occasionally cause epidemics and pandemics worldwide, such as the on-going outbreak of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Herein, we identiﬁed two potent inhibitors of human DHODH, S312 and S416, with favorable drug-likeness and pharmacokinetic proﬁles, which all showed broadspectrum antiviral effects against various RNA viruses, including inﬂuenza A virus, Zika virus, Ebola virus, and particularly against SARS-CoV-2. Notably, S416 is reported to be the most potent inhibitor so far with an EC50 of 17 nmol/L and an SI value of 10,505.88 in infected cells. Our results are the ﬁrst to validate that DHODH is an attractive host target through high antiviral efﬁcacy invivoand low virus replication in DHODH knock-out cells. This work demonstrates that both S312/S416 and old drugs (Leﬂunomide/Teriﬂunomide) with dual actions of antiviral and immuno-regulation may have clinical potentials to cure SARS-CoV-2 or other RNA viruses circulating worldwide, no matter such viruses are mutated or not.
Age-associated changes in immune cells have been linked to an increased risk for infection. However, a global and detailed characterization of the changes that human circulating immune cells undergo with age is lacking. Here, we combined scRNA-seq, mass cytometry and scATAC-seq to compare immune cell types in peripheral blood collected from young and old subjects and patients with COVID-19. We found that the immune cell landscape was reprogrammed with age and was characterized by T cell polarization from naive and memory cells to effector, cytotoxic, exhausted and regulatory cells, along with increased late natural killer cells, age-associated B cells, inflammatory monocytes and age-associated dendritic cells. In addition, the expression of genes, which were implicated in coronavirus susceptibility, was upregulated in a cell subtypespecific manner with age. Notably, COVID-19 promoted age-induced immune cell polarization and gene expression related to inflammation and cellular senescence. Therefore, these findings suggest that a dysregulated immune system and increased gene expression associated with SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility may at least partially account for COVID-19 vulnerability in the elderly.