3D in vitro M2 macrophage model to mimic modulation of tissue repair

Jiranuwat Sapudom, Shaza Karaman, Walaa K.E. Mohamed, Anna Garcia-Sabaté, Brian C. Quartey, Jeremy C.M. Teo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Distinct anti-inflammatory macrophage (M2) subtypes, namely M2a and M2c, are reported to modulate the tissue repair process tightly and chronologically by modulating fibroblast differentiation state and functions. To establish a well-defined three-dimensional (3D) cell culture model to mimic the tissue repair process, we utilized THP-1 human monocytic cells and a 3D collagen matrix as a biomimetic tissue model. THP-1 cells were differentiated into macrophages, and activated using IL-4/IL-13 (MIL-4/IL-13) and IL-10 (MIL-10). Both activated macrophages were characterized by both their cell surface marker expression and cytokine secretion profile. Our cell characterization suggested that MIL-4/IL-13 and MIL-10 demonstrate M2a- and M2c-like subtypes, respectively. To mimic the initial and resolution phases during the tissue repair, both activated macrophages were co-cultured with fibroblasts and myofibroblasts. We showed that MIL-4/IL-13 were able to promote matrix synthesis and remodeling by induction of myofibroblast differentiation via transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1). On the contrary, MIL-10 demonstrated the ability to resolve the tissue repair process by dedifferentiation of myofibroblast via IL-10 secretion. Overall, our study demonstrated the importance and the exact roles of M2a and M2c-like macrophage subtypes in coordinating tissue repair in a biomimetic model. The established model can be applied for high-throughput platforms for improving tissue healing and anti-fibrotic drugs testing, as well as other biomedical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number83
Journalnpj Regenerative Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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