Athletes’ Mesenchymal Stem Cells Could Be the Best Choice for Cell Therapy in Omicron-Infected Patients

Mona Saheli, Kayvan Khoramipour*, Massoud Vosough, Abbas Piryaei, Masoud Rahmati, Katsuhiko Suzuki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


New severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant, Omicron, contains 32 mutations that have caused a high incidence of breakthrough infections or re-infections. These mutations have reduced vaccine protection against Omicron and other new emerging variants. This highlights the need to find effective treatment, which is suggested to be stem cell-based therapy. Stem cells could support respiratory epithelial cells and they could restore alveolar bioenergetics. In addition, they can increase the secretion of immunomodulatory cytokines. However, after transplantation, cell survival and growth rate are low because of an inappropriate microenvironment, and stem cells face ischemia, inflammation, and oxidative stress in the transplantation niche which reduces the cells’ survival and growth. Exercise-training can upregulate antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic defense mechanisms and increase growth signaling, thereby improving transplanted cells’ survival and growth. Hence, using athletes’ stem cells may increase stem-cell therapy outcomes in Omicron-affected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1926
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 1


  • COVID-19
  • exercise
  • omicron
  • sport
  • stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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