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Open Access Special Issue

Cellular therapies in ARDS

  • Aina Areny-Balagueró1,2,*,
  • Antonio Artigas1,2,3,4
  • John G Laffey5,6
  • Daniel Closa7

1Department of Respiratory Physiopathology, Parc Taulí Research and Innovation Institution Foundation (I3PT), 08208 Sabadell, Spain

2Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain

3Biomedical Research Network Centre of Respiratory Diseases (CIBERES), Institute of Health Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain

4Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Parc Taulí Health Corporation, 08208 Sabadell, Spain

5Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, School of Medicine, Clinical Sciences Institute, National University of Ireland, H91 TK33 Galway, Ireland

6Department of Anaesthesia, SAOLTA University Health Group, Galway University Hospitals, H91 TK33Galway, Ireland

7Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spanish National Research Council (IIBB-CSIC), 08036 Barcelona, Spain

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2022.059 Vol.18,Issue 5,September 2022 pp.68-74

Submitted: 04 April 2022 Accepted: 09 June 2022

Published: 08 September 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome)

*Corresponding Author(s): Aina Areny-Balagueró E-mail:


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a critical illness characterized by a severe hypoxemic respiratory failure, caused by an inflammatory response which results in diffuse lung damage. Despite decades of research, the treatment of ARDS remains supportive. However, in recent years, cell-based therapies have been the subject of intensive ongoing research efforts, showing relevant therapeutic potential in preclinical ARDS models. Among all the different cells that have been identified as suitable candidates for use, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have been the most attractive candidates and have generated significant interest. MSCs are multipotent adult stem/stromal cells that can modulate the immune response and enhance repair of damaged tissue in multiple in vivo models. Their promising effect seems to be not primarily mediated by MSCs differentiation and engraftment but more by the paracrine release of different soluble mediators and cellular components such as extracellular vesicles (EVs). Preclinical experiments have provided encouraging evidence for the therapeutic potential of MSCs, leading to the launch of several phase I and II clinical trials that have shown safety of MSCs in ARDS, which became very common nowadays due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. However, some translational challenges have yet to be solved, such as the reproducibility of cell harvest, storage, reconstitution, and administration of cells/cell-products, before the therapeutic potential of stem cells therapies can be realized.


ARDS; Cell therapy; MSCs; EVs

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Aina Areny-Balagueró,Antonio Artigas,John G Laffey,Daniel Closa. Cellular therapies in ARDS. Signa Vitae. 2022. 18(5);68-74.


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