Antiviral properties of placental growth factors: A novel therapeutic approach for COVID-19 treatment.
Joshi, MG, Kshersagar, J, Desai, SR, Sharma, S
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The current challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic is complicated by the limited therapeutic options against the virus, with many being anecdotal or still undergoing confirmatory trials, underlining the urgent need for novel strategies targeting the virus. The pulmotropic virus causes loss of oxygenation in severe cases with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and need for mechanical ventilation. This work seeks to introduce placental extract-derived biologically active components as a therapeutic option and highlights their mechanism of action relevant to COVID-19 virus. Human placenta has been used in clinical practice for over a century and there is substantial experience in clinical applications of placental extract for different indications. Aqueous extract of human placentacontains growth factors, cytokines/chemokines, natural metabolic and other compounds, anti-oxidants, amino acids, vitamins, trace elements and biomolecules, which individually or in combination show accelerated cellular metabolism, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects, cellular proliferation and stimulation of tissue regeneration processes. Placental extract treatment is proposed as a suitable therapeutic approach consideringthe above properties which could protect against initial viral entry and acute inflammation of alveolar epithelial cells, reconstitute pulmonary microenvironment and regenerate the lung. We reviewed useful therapeutic information of placental biomolecules in relation to COVID-19 treatment. We propose the new approach of using placental growth factors, chemokines and cytokine which will execute antiviral activity in coordination with innate and humoral immunity and improve patient's immunological responses to COVID-19. Executing a clinical trial using placental extract as preventive, protective and/or therapeutic approach for COVID-19treatment could advance the development of a most promising therapeutic candidate that can join the armamentaria against the COVID-19 virus.