Maggot Secretions Skew Monocyte-Macrophage Differentiation Away from a Pro-Inflammatory to a Pro-Angiogenic Type

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Background: Maggots of the blowfly Lucilia sericata are used for the treatment of chronic wounds. Earlier we reported maggot secretions to inhibit pro-inflammatory responses of human monocytes. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of maggot secretions on the differentiation of monocytes into pro-inflammatory (MØ-1) and anti-inflammatory/pro-angiogenic macrophages (MØ-2) as these cells play a central role in wound healing. Methodology/Principal Findings: Freshly isolated monocytes were incubated with secretions and GM-CSF or M-CSF for 6 days and then stimulated with LPS or LTA for 18 h. The expression of cell surface molecules and the levels of cytokines, chemokines and growth factors in supernatants were measured. Our results showed secretions to affect monocyte-macrophage differentiation leading to MØ-1 with a partial MØ-2-like morphology but lacking CD163, which is characteristic for MØ-2. In response to LPS or LTA, secretions-differentiated MØ-1 produced less pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-12p40 and MIF) than control cells. Similar results were observed for MØ-2 when stimulated with low concentrations of LPS. Furthermore, secretions dose-dependently led to MØ-1 and MØ-2 characterized by an altered chemokine production. Secretions led to MØ-2, but not MØ-1, producing enhanced levels of the growth factors bFGF and VEGF, as compared to control cells. The expression of cell-surface receptors involved in LPS/LTA was enhanced by secretions, that of CD86 and HLA-DR down-regulated, while receptors involved in phagocytosis remained largely unaffected. Conclusions: Maggot secretions skew the differentiation of monocytes into macrophages away from a pro-inflammatory to a pro-angiogenic type.


External organisations
  • Leiden University Medical Centre
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0008071
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes