The early macrophage response to biomaterials has been shown to be a critical and predictive determinant of downstream outcomes. When properly prepared, bioscaffolds composed of mammalian extracellular matrix (ECM) have been shown to promote a transition in macrophage behavior from a proinflammatory to a regulatory/anti-inflammatory phenotype, which in turn has been associated with constructive and functional tissue repair. The mechanism by which ECM bioscaffolds promote this phenotypic transition, however, is poorly understood. The present study shows that matrix-bound nanovesicles (MBV), a component of ECM bioscaffolds, are capable of recapitulating the macrophage activation effects of the ECM bioscaffold from which they are derived. MBV isolated from two different source tissues, porcine urinary bladder and small intestinal submucosa, were found to be enriched in miRNA125b-5p, 143-3p, and 145-5p. Inhibition of these miRNAs within macrophages was associated with a gene and protein expression profile more consistent with a proinflammatory rather than an anti-inflammatory/regulatory phenotype. MBV and their associated miRNA cargo appear to play a significant role in mediating the effects of ECM bioscaffolds on macrophage phenotype.
Keywords: extracellular matrix; macrophage; matrix-bound nanovesicles; phenotype.