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Biomaterials. 2008 Dec;29(36):4736-50. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.08.040. Epub 2008 Sep 30.

Adhesive substrate-modulation of adaptive immune responses.

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  • 1Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, P.O. Box 116400, Gainesville, Florida 32611-6400, USA.


While it is well-known that adsorbed proteins on implanted biomaterials modulate inflammatory responses, modulation of dendritic cells (DCs) via adhesion-dependent signaling has only been begun to be characterized. In this work, we demonstrate that adhesive substrates elicit differential DC maturation and adaptive immune responses. We find that adhesive substrates support similar levels of DC adhesion and expression of stimulatory and co-stimulatory molecules. Conversely, DC morphology and differential production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-12p40 and IL-10, respectively) is adhesive substrate-dependent. For example, DCs cultured on collagen and vitronectin substrates generate higher levels of IL-12p40, whereas DCs cultured on albumin and serum-coated tissue culture-treated substrates produce the higher levels of IL-10 compared to other substrates. Additionally, our results suggest substrate-dependent trends in DC-mediated allogeneic CD4(+) T-cell proliferation and T-helper cell type responses. Specifically, we show that substrate-dependent modulation of DC IL-12p40 cytokine production correlates with CD4(+) T-cell proliferation and T(h)1 type response in terms of IFN-gamma producing T-helper cells. Furthermore, our results suggest substrate-dependent trends in DC-mediated stimulation of IL-4 producing T-cells, but this T(h)2 type response is not dependent on DC production of IL-10 cytokine. This work has impact in the rational design of biomaterials for diverse applications such as tissue-engineered constructs, synthetic particle-based vaccines and the ex vivo culture of DCs for immunotherapies.

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