wound healing, gene expression, ligaments, biomechanics, monocytes, interleukin-1
Ligament healing follows a series of complex coordinated events involving various cell types, cytokines, as well as other factors, producing a mechanically inferior tissue more scar-like than native tissue. Macrophages provide an ongoing source of cytokines to modulate inflammatory cell adhesion and migration as well as fibroblast proliferation. Studying interleukins inherent to ligament healing during peak macrophage activation and angiogenesis may elucidate inflammatory mediators involved in subsequent scar formation. Herein, we used a rat healing model assayed after surgical transection of their medial collateral ligaments (MCLs). On days 3 and 7 post-injury, ligaments were collected and used for microarray analysis. Of the 12 significantly modified interleukins, components of the interleukin-1 family were significantly up-regulated. We therefore examined the influence of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) on MCL healing. Transected rat MCLs received PBS or IL-1Ra at the time of surgery. Inhibition of IL-1 activation decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-12, IL-2, and IFN-γ), myofibroblasts, and proliferating cells, as well as increased anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10), endothelial cells/blood vessel lumen, M2 macrophages, and granulation tissue size without compromising the mechanical properties. These results support the concept that IL-1Ra modulates MCL-localized granulation tissue components and cytokine production to create a transient environment that is less inflammatory. Overall, IL-1Ra may have therapeutic potential early in the healing cascade by stimulating the M2 macrophages and altering the granulation tissue components. However, the single dose of IL-1Ra used in this study was insufficient to maintain the more regenerative early response. Due to the transient influence on most of the healing components tested, IL-1Ra may have greater therapeutic potential with sustained delivery.
Source Publication Title
Chamberlain CS, Leiferman EM, Frisch KE, Brickson SL, Murphy WL, et al. (2013) Interleukin Expression after Injury and the Effects of Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist. PLoS ONE 8(8): e71631. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071631