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Endothelial Inflammation and Neutrophil Transmigration Are Modulated by Extracellular Matrix Composition in an Inflammation-on-a-chip Model

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Riddle, Rebecca 
Jennbacken, Karin 
Hansson, Kenny 


Inflammatory diseases are often characterised by excessive neutrophil infiltration from the blood stream to the site of inflammation, which damages healthy tissue and prevents resolution of inflammation. Development of anti-inflammatory drugs is hindered by lack of in vitro and in vivo models which accurately represent the disease microenvironment. In this study, we used the OrganoPlate to develop a humanized 3D in vitro inflammation-on-a-chip model to recapitulate neutrophil transmigration across the endothelium and subsequent migration through the extracellular matrix (ECM). Human umbilical vein endothelial cells formed confluent vessels against collagen I and geltrex mix, a mix of basement membrane extract and collagen I. TNF-α-stimulation of vessels upregulated inflammatory cytokine expression and promoted neutrophil transmigration. Intriguingly, major differences were found depending on the composition of the ECM. Neutrophils transmigrated in higher number and further in geltrex mix than collagen I, and did not require an N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP) gradient for transmigration. Inhibition of neutrophil proteases inhibited neutrophil transmigration on geltrex mix, but not collagen I. These findings highlight the important role of the ECM in determining cell phenotype and response to inhibitors. Future work could adapt the ECM composition for individual diseases, producing accurate models for drug development.



Collagen, Endothelium, Extracellular Matrix, Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells, Humans, Inflammation, Lab-On-A-Chip Devices, Neutrophils

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Scientific Reports

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Nature Publishing Group
National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC/N002350/1)
British Heart Foundation (PG/20/12/34982)
AstraZeneca-Cambridge PhD Studentship