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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2017 Jan;105(1):138-147. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35894. Epub 2016 Sep 21.

Solubilized extracellular matrix bioscaffolds derived from diverse source tissues differentially influence macrophage phenotype.

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McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


The host response to biomaterials is a critical determinant of their success or failure in tissue-repair applications. Macrophages are among the first responders in the host response to biomaterials and have been shown to be predictors of downstream tissue remodeling events. Biomaterials composed of mammalian extracellular matrix (ECM) in particular have been shown to promote distinctive and constructive remodeling outcomes when compared to their synthetic counterparts, a property that has been largely attributed to their ability to modulate the host macrophage response. ECM bioscaffolds are prepared by decellularizing source tissues such as dermis and small intestinal submucosa. The differential ability of such scaffolds to influence macrophage behavior has not been determined. The present study determines the effects of ECM bioscaffolds derived from eight different source tissues upon macrophage surface marker expression, protein content, phagocytic capability, metabolism, and antimicrobial activity. The results show that macrophages exposed to small intestinal submucosa (SIS), urinary bladder matrix (UBM), brain ECM (bECM), esophageal ECM (eECM), and colonic ECM (coECM) express a predominant M2-like macrophage phenotype, which is pro-remodeling and anti-inflammatory (iNOS-/Fizz1+/CD206+). In contrast, macrophage exposure to dermal ECM resulted in a predominant M1-like, pro-inflammatory phenotype (iNOS+/Fizz1-/CD206-), whereas liver ECM (LECM) and skeletal muscle ECM (mECM) did not significantly change the expression of these markers. All solubilized ECM bioscaffold treatments resulted in an increased macrophage antimicrobial activity, but no differences were evident in macrophage phagocytic capabilities, and macrophage metabolism was decreased following exposure to UBM, bECM, mECM, coECM, and dECM. The present work could have important implications when considering the macrophage response following ECM implantation for site-appropriate tissue remodeling.


biologic scaffold; bioscaffold; extracellular matrix; host response; macrophages

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