The effects of macrophage phenotype on osteogenic differentiation of mscs in the presence of polyethylene particles

Qi Gao, Claire Rhee, Masahiro Maruyama, Zhong Li, Huaishuang Shen, Ning Zhang, Takeshi Utsunomiya, Elijah Ejun Huang, Zhenyu Yao, Bruce A. Bunnell, Hang Lin, Rocky S. Tuan, Stuart B. Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Wear debris generated from the bearing surfaces of joint arthroplasties leads to acute and chronic inflammation, which is strongly associated with implant failure. Macrophages derived from monocytes recruited to the local tissues have a significant impact on bone healing and regeneration. Macrophages can adopt various functional phenotypes. While M1 macrophages are pro-inflammatory, M2 macrophages express factors important for tissue repair. Here, we established a 3D co-culture system to investigate how the immune system influences the osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the presence of micron-sized particles. This system allowed for the simulation of an inflammatory reaction via the addition of Lipopolysaccharide-contaminated polyethylene particles (cPE) and the characterization of bone formation using micro-CT and gene and protein expression. Co-cultures of MSCs with M2 macrophages in the presence of cPE in a 3D environment resulted in the increased expression of osteogenic markers, suggesting facilitation of bone formation. In this model, the upregulation of M2 macrophage expression of immune-associated genes and cytokines contributes to enhanced bone formation by MSCs. This study elucidates how the immune system modulates bone healing in response to an inflammatory stimulus using a unique 3D culture system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number499
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021


  • MSCs
  • Macrophage
  • Osteogenic differentiation
  • Polyethylene particles


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