Circulating monocytes undergo spontaneous apoptosis when there is no activation stimulus, which is critical to population control for proper host response to implants. As activation and apoptosis of monocytes/macrophages are regulated by cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, their regulatory mechanism was investigated in this study using polyethylene glycol (PEG)-containing polyurethane films in which PEG-rich and polyester-rich domains were phase separated. Human blood monocyte-derived macrophages (HBMs) preferentially adhered to PEG domains (cell-matrix interaction) due to the low molecular weight (600 g mol⁻¹), resulting in increased HBM density (cell-cell interaction). As both cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions were promoted, HBM apoptosis increased, while their activation as measured by phagocytosis, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level and matrix metalloproteinase-9 production decreased compared to PEG-free films. When cell seeding density and cell-adhesive gelatin coating on silicone films were controlled, a cooperative role of cell-matrix (adhesion) and cell-cell (density) interactions in inducing HBM apoptosis was observed. Expression of the macrophage adhesion molecule CD11b caused apoptosis in this context, which was mediated by tissue necrosis factor-α signaling but down-regulated by the ROS inhibitor diphenylene iodonium and the anti-inflammatory peptide Ac-SDKP, suggesting a new concept for the design of biomaterials that allows for cell adhesion without excessive inflammatory activation.
Copyright © 2012 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.