Nat Commun, Dec 2020

Foreign body responses in mouse central nervous system mimic natural wound responses and alter biomaterial functions


OʼShea Timothy M, Alexander L Wollenberg, Jae H Kim, Yan Ao, Timothy J Deming, Michael V Sofroniew

 

Biomaterials hold promise for therapeutic applications in the central nervous system (CNS). Little is known about molecular factors that determine CNS foreign body responses (FBRs) in vivo, or about how such responses influence biomaterial function. Here, we probed these factors in mice using a platform of injectable hydrogels readily modified to present interfaces with different physiochemical properties to host cells. We found that biomaterial FBRs mimic specialized multicellular CNS wound responses not present in peripheral tissues, which serve to isolate damaged neural tissue and restore barrier functions. We show that the nature and intensity of CNS FBRs are determined by definable properties that significantly influence hydrogel functions, including resorption and molecular delivery when injected into healthy brain or stroke injuries. Cationic interfaces elicit stromal cell infiltration, peripherally derived inflammation, neural damage and amyloid production. Nonionic and anionic formulations show minimal levels of these responses, which contributes to superior bioactive molecular delivery. Our results identify specific molecular mechanisms that drive FBRs in the CNS and have important implications for developing effective biomaterials for CNS applications.

 

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