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Developing a pro-regenerative biomaterial scaffold microenvironment requires T helper 2 cells

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Science  15 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6283, pp. 366-370
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad9272

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Engineering a healing immune response

Infections, surgeries, and trauma can all cause major tissue damage. Biomaterial scaffolds, which help to guide regenerating tissue, are an exciting emerging therapeutic strategy to promote tissue repair. Sadtler et al. tested how biomaterial scaffolds interact with the immune system in damaged tissue to promote repair (see the Perspective by Badylak). Scaffolds derived from cardiac muscle and bone extracellular matrix components trigger a tissue-reparative T cell immune response in mice with injured muscles.

Science, this issue p. 366; see also p. 298

Abstract

Immune-mediated tissue regeneration driven by a biomaterial scaffold is emerging as an innovative regenerative strategy to repair damaged tissues. We investigated how biomaterial scaffolds shape the immune microenvironment in traumatic muscle wounds to improve tissue regeneration. The scaffolds induced a pro-regenerative response, characterized by an mTOR/Rictor-dependent T helper 2 pathway that guides interleukin-4–dependent macrophage polarization, which is critical for functional muscle recovery. Manipulating the adaptive immune system using biomaterials engineering may support the development of therapies that promote both systemic and local pro-regenerative immune responses, ultimately stimulating tissue repair.

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