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Acta Biomater. 2013 Mar;9(3):5621-9. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2012.11.016. Epub 2012 Nov 17.

Artificial extracellular matrices composed of collagen I and high-sulfated hyaluronan promote phenotypic and functional modulation of human pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages.

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Department of Dermatology, Venerology und Allergology, Leipzig University, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.


The sequential phases of biomaterial integration and wound healing require different macrophage functions mediated by distinct macrophage subsets. During the initial phase of healing, pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages (MΦ1) are required to clear the wound from microbes and debris; however, their unopposed, persistent activation often leads to disturbed integration of biomaterials and perturbed wound healing. Here we investigated whether pro-inflammatory macrophage functions are affected by immunomodulatory biomaterials based on artificial extracellular matrices (aECM). To address this issue, we tested the capacity of two-dimensional aECM consisting of collagen I and hyaluronan or sulfated derivatives of hyaluronan to affect functions of in vitro polarized human pro-inflammatory MΦ1. The aECM containing high-sulfated hyaluronan substantially decreased inflammatory macrophage functions, including pathogen uptake and release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-12 due to impaired activation of nuclear factor "kappa-light-chain-enhancer" of activated B-cells. Moreover, these macrophages secreted immunregulatory IL-10 and showed reduced activity of the transcription factors signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 and interferon-regulating factor 5, both controlling macrophage polarization to MΦ1 subsets. Our data reveal that the collagen I matrix containing high-sulfated hyaluronan possesses immunomodulating properties and dampens inflammatory macrophage activities by impeding signaling pathways crucial for polarization of pro-inflammatory MΦ1. We therefore suggest this aECM as a promising coating for biomaterials to modulate inflammatory macrophage functions during the healing response and recommend its further testing as a three-dimensional construct and in in vivo models.

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