Human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs) have been shown to modulate inflammation and restore normal lung structure and respiratory function following bleomycin challenge in immune-competent mice. These effects are exerted despite a lack of significant engraftment of hAECs, suggesting
that immunomodulatory effect mechanisms are at play. In this study, using the bleomycin model of injury, we explored the interactions between hAECs and macrophages. We administered 4 million hAECs intraperitoneally to C57Bl6 mice 24 h following a bleomycin challenge. Using FACS analysis and
qPCR, we showed that hAEC administration significantly reduced macrophage infiltration into the lungs and that the majority of the pulmonary macrophages were of the M2 phenotype. Using bone marrow-derived macrophages, we then showed that hAEC-conditioned media could alter macrophage polarization,
migration, and phagocytosis, without affecting macrophage survival or proliferation in vitro. This study provides the first evidence that hAECs directly influence macrophage behavior in a proreparative manner and suggests that hAECs are able to mediate these effects independently of other
immune cell types.
The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
Publication date: March 21, 2014
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