About this Webinar
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), as a major co-morbidity with SARS-CoV-2 infection, may cause a higher mortality rate than other related co-morbidities. Infection of cardiomyocytes with COVID-19 followed by replication of the virus may result in tissue degeneration, necrosis and apoptosis. COVID-19 virus induced Cytokine storm and other mechanisms, including thrombosis, endotheliosis and lymphocytopenia can cause or worsen this heart damage. Indeed, the viral infection of COVID-19 can cause extracellular matrix transformation leading to the production of fibrotic scars. These fibrotic lesions have certain pathological effects which can even lead to death in patients, including cardiac dysfunction and reduced ejection fraction. Cell therapy and regenerative medicine are seen as one of the most promising strategies for regenerating damaged or failing tissues and organs within the medical system.
In accordance with various introduced limitations, as the epicenter of regenerative medicine, Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been extensively studied and applied, and have also appeared throughout this field as a strong and commonly used cell source. Their capacity to differentiate into diverse cell lineages, migration, and cellular regulator secretion together with immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory potential of MSC secretomes are the characteristics that make them extremely valuable. Mesenchymal progenitors transplanted onto the ischemic myocardium are able to secrete a plethora of therapeutic molecules (paracrine activity) and even to differentiate towards (cardio-) vascular lineages, encouraging the healing of the damaged tissue, avoiding its transition to a scarred muscle, and regenerating the heart tissue mainly at the vascular level.