OBJECTIVE: Inflammation is known to negatively affect cartilage repair. However, it is unclear how inflammation influences the migration of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from the underlying bone marrow into the defect. We therefore aimed to investigate how synovial inflammation influences MSC migration, and whether modulation of inflammation with triamcinolone acetonide (TAA) may influence migration. DESIGN: Inflamed human osteoarthritic synovium, M(IFNγ+TNFα) pro-inflammatory macrophages, M(IL4) repair macrophages, M(IL10) anti-inflammatory macrophages, or synovial fibroblasts were cultured with/without TAA. Conditioned medium (CM) was harvested after 24 hours, and the effect on MSC migration was studied using a Boyden chamber assay. Inflammation was evaluated with gene expression and flow cytometry analysis. RESULTS: Synovium CM increased MSC migration. Modulation of synovial inflammation with TAA further increased migration 1.5-fold (P < 0.01). TAA significantly decreased TNFA, IL1B, and IL6 gene expression in synovium explants and increased CD163, a gene associated with anti-inflammatory macrophages. TAA treatment decreased the percentage of CD14+/CD80+ and CD14+/CD86+ pro-inflammatory macrophages and increased the percentage of CD14+/CD163+ anti-inflammatory macrophages in synovium explants. Interestingly, MSC migration was specifically enhanced by medium conditioned by M(IL4) macrophages and by M(IL10) macrophages treated with TAA, and unaffected by CM from M(IFNγ+TNFα) macrophages and synovial fibroblasts. CONCLUSION: Macrophages secrete factors that stimulate the migration of MSCs. Modulation with TAA increased specifically the ability of anti-inflammatory macrophages to stimulate migration, indicating that they play an important role in secreting factors to attract MSCs. Modulating inflammation and thereby improving migration could be used in approaches based on endogenous repair of full-thickness cartilage defects.
Bibliographical noteAcknowledgments and Funding
AO-OCD Consortium TA1711481: Osteochondral Bone Repair with Innovative Tissue Engineering and 3D Bioactive Composite Scaffold; European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions grant agreement no. 642414; NWO Perspectief grant P15-23.