Modulating in vitro bone cell and macrophage behavior by immobilized enzymatically tailored pectins

Previous work has reported the results of a multidisciplinary effort producing a proof-of-concept on the use of pectic polysaccharides in the surface modification of medical devices. This study was designed to learn more about the capability of engineered rhamnogalacturonan-I (RG-I) fractions of apple pectin to control bone cell and macrophage behavior. Thermanox® or polystyrene Petri dishes were surface modified with two different modified hairy regions (MHRs) obtained by different enzymatic liquefaction processes of apples differing in relative amounts and lengths of their neutral side chains: (long-haired) MHR-α and (short-haired) MHR-B. Bone explants from 14-day-old chick embryos were cultured for 14 days on both pectic substrata. MHR-B promoted cell migration and differentiation, MHR-α did not. On MHR-α, J774.2 macrophages grew well, their percentage in G1 phase was decreased and in S phase increased, and they did not secrete either proinflammatory-cytokines or nitrites. Contrasting results were gained from macrophages on MHR-B, except for nitrite secretion. Thus, we conclude that coatings from tailored pectins show different biological activities in vitro and are potential innovative candidates for improving the biocompatibility of medical devices in various applications.