Macrophage Response to Allogeneic Adipose Tissue-Derived Stromal Cells in Hyaluronan-Based Hydrogel in a Porcine Vocal Fold Injury Model

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Adipose tissue-derived stromal cells (ASC) embedded in hyaluronan scaffold is a beneficial prophylactic treatment for vocal fold (VF) surgical scar. Here, we investigated the macrophage inflammatory response to allogeneic ASC-constructs and identified changes in lamina propria extracellular matrix.


Pig ASC were characterized and transfected with GFP+ lentivirus. Thirty-three pigs underwent VF biopsies, and after 3 days, gel alone, gel+pASC, placebo, or pASC alone was injected into wound bed. Animals were sacrificed 3, 7, or 26 days post-injection. Flow cytometry; qPCR for NF-α, TGFβ, IL-10, IL-4, IFNγ, IL-12, FGF2, Col1A1, and HGF; and immunohistochemistry for collagen, elastin, HA, and fibronectin were performed to characterize macrophage phenotype, quantify cytokine transcription, analyze extracellular matrix remodeling, and track GFP+ cells.


No significant differences were found in SWC3+/SWC9+ phenotype or mRNA expression between cells+gel, gel, or placebo. The ASC alone exhibited significantly greater collagen, gel alone resulted in significantly less hyaluronan, and gel+pASC significantly more fibronectin (all P < .05). The pASC-GFP+ were detected 26 days post-injection.


The ASC-constructs were biocompatible; they did not influence the macrophage inflammatory response or provoke increases in collagen expression. Long-term engraftment was confirmed.

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