Effects of Human and Porcine Adipose Extracellular Matrices Decellularized by Enzymatic or Chemical Methods on Macrophage Polarization and Immunocompetence

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The decellularized extracellular matrix (ECM) obtained from human and porcine adipose tissue (AT) is currently used to prepare regenerative medicine bio-scaffolds. However, the influence of these natural biomaterials on host immune response is not yet deeply understood. Since macrophages play a key role in the inflammation/healing processes due to their high functional plasticity between M1 and M2 phenotypes, the evaluation of their response to decellularized ECM is mandatory. It is also necessary to analyze the immunocompetence of macrophages after contact with decellularized ECM materials to assess their functional role in a possible infection scenario. In this work, we studied the effect of four decellularized adipose matrices (DAMs) obtained from human and porcine AT by enzymatic or chemical methods on macrophage phenotypes and fungal phagocytosis. First, a thorough biochemical characterization of these biomaterials by quantification of remnant DNA, lipids, and proteins was performed, thus indicating the efficiency and reliability of both methods. The proteomic analysis evidenced that some proteins are differentially preserved depending on both the AT origin and the decellularization method employed. After exposure to the four DAMs, specific markers of M1 proinflammatory and M2 anti-inflammatory macrophages were analyzed. Porcine DAMs favor the M2 phenotype, independently of the decellularization method employed. Finally, a sensitive fungal phagocytosis assay allowed us to relate the macrophage phagocytosis capability with specific proteins differentially preserved in certain DAMs. The results obtained in this study highlight the close relationship between the ECM biochemical composition and the macrophage’s functional role.