Cytokines and microRNAs in SARS-CoV-2: What do we know?

Fahimeh Zamani Rarani, Bahman Rashidi, Mohammad Hassan Jafari Najaf Abadi, Michael R. Hamblin, Seyed Mohammad Reza Hashemian, Hamed Mirzaei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic constitutes a global health emergency. Currently, there are no completely effective therapeutic medications for the management of this outbreak. The cytokine storm is a hyperinflammatory medical condition due to excessive and uncontrolled release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in patients suffering from severe COVID-19, leading to the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and even mortality. Understanding the pathophysiology of COVID-19 can be helpful for the treatment of patients. Evidence suggests that the levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 are dramatically different between mild and severe patients, so they may be important contributors to the cytokine storm. Several serum markers can be predictors for the cytokine storm. This review discusses the cytokines involved in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, focusing on interferons (IFNs) and ILs, and whether they can be used in COVID-19 treatment. Moreover, we highlight several microRNAs that are involved in these cytokines and their role in the cytokine storm caused by COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-242
Number of pages24
JournalMolecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Janus kinases
  • NF-κB
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • STAT transcription factors
  • cytokines
  • interferons
  • interleukins
  • microRNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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