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Front Immunol. 2019 Oct 18;10:2443. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02443. eCollection 2019.

Compromised Bone Healing in Aged Rats Is Associated With Impaired M2 Macrophage Function.

Author information

1
Julius Wolff Institute and Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin Institute of Health, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
2
Berlin Institute of Health Center for Regenerative Therapies, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin Institute of Health, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Fracture repair is initiated by a multitude of immune cells and induction of an inflammatory cascade. Alterations in the early healing response due to an aged adaptive immune system leads to impaired bone repair, delayed healing or even formation of non-union. However, immuno-senescence is not limited to the adaptive immunity, but is also described for macrophages, main effector cells from the innate immune system. Beside regulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory signaling, macrophages contribute to angiogenesis and granulation tissue maturation. Thus, it seems likely that an altered macrophage function due to aging may affect bone repair at various stages and contribute to age related deficiencies in bone regeneration. To prove this hypothesis, we analyzed the expression of macrophage markers and angiogenic factors in the early bone hematoma derived from young and aged osteotomized Spraque Dawley rats. We detected an overall reduced expression of the monocyte/pan-macrophage markers CD14 and CD68 in aged rats. Furthermore, the analysis revealed an impaired expression of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophage markers in hematoma from aged animals that was connected to a diminished revascularization of the bone callus. To verify that the age related disturbed bone regeneration was due to a compromised macrophage function, CD14+ macrophage precursors were transplanted locally into the osteotomy gap of aged rats. Transplantation rescued bone regeneration partially after 6 weeks, demonstrated by a significantly induced deposition of new bone tissue, reduced fibrosis and significantly improved callus vascularization.

KEYWORDS:

CD14+ cells; aging; angiogenesis; bone regeneration; compromised healing; macrophage; monocyte

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