Cells 11 (12) - [2022-06-14; online 2022-06-14]
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.