Background: Granulomatous reactions to poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)-based filler have been described previously. Neither the biological background of these partly late-onset reactions or the desired augmenting effect of PLLA has been studied to date. Histological studies have revealed foreign body reactions and foreign body giant cell formation.
Objective: The aim of this study was to increase our knowledge about the biological mechanisms behind the augmenting effect of PLLA-based filler.
Methods: We characterised the cell infiltrate and collagen type of PLLA-treated tissue by immunofluorescence staining. The expression of genes related to collagen metabolism was determined.
Results: CD68(+) macrophages were found next to PLLA. CD90(+) fibroblasts were found alongside. αSMA-positive structures indicated myofibroblasts and neovascularisation. Substantial collagen type III deposition was detected next to PLLA particles and collagen type I was found at the periphery of PLLA encapsulations. mRNA expression for collagen type I and III transcripts, as well as for TGFβ1 and TIMP1, was upregulated significantly.
Conclusion: PLLA-induced augmentation is most likely based on capsule formation orchestrating macrophages, (myo-)fibroblasts, and collagen type I and III fibres. We observed considerably slower degradation of PLLA particles than described previously. Thus PLLA particles were still retrievable 28 months after subcutaneous application.
Keywords: (Myo-)fibroblasts; Collagen type I; Collagen type III; Filler; Macrophages; Poly-l-lactic acid.
Copyright © 2015 Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.