Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

In Vitro Study of Human Immune Responses to Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels, Recombinant Spidroins and Human Neural Progenitor Cells of Relevance to Spinal Cord Injury Repair

Lin, Chenhong; Ekblad-Nordberg, Asa; Michaelsson, Jakob; Gotherstrom, Cecilia; Hsu, Chia-Chen; Ye, Hua; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna; Sundstrom, Erik; Akesson, Elisabet


Scaffolds of recombinant spider silk protein (spidroin) and hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel hold promise in combination with cell therapy for spinal cord injury. However, little is known concerning the human immune response to these biomaterials and grafted human neural stem/progenitor cells (hNPCs). Here, we analyzed short- and long-term in vitro activation of immune cells in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (hPBMCs) cultured with/without recombinant spidroins, HA hydrogels, and/or allogeneic hNPCs to assess potential host-donor interactions. Viability, proliferation and phenotype of hPBMCs were analyzed using NucleoCounter and flow cytometry. hPBMC viability was confirmed after exposure to the different biomaterials. Short-term (15 h) co-cultures of hPBMCs with spidroins, but not with HA hydrogel, resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of activated CD69(+) CD4(+) T cells, CD8(+) T cells, B cells and NK cells, which likely was caused by residual endotoxins from the Escherichia coli expression system. The observed spidroin-induced hPBMC activation was not altered by hNPCs. It is resource-effective to evaluate human compatibility of novel biomaterials early in development of the production process to, when necessary, make alterations to minimize rejection risk. Here, we present a method to evaluate biomaterials and hPBMC compatibility in conjunction with allogeneic human cells.


human immune response; hyaluronic acid hydrogel; artificial spidroin; human neural progenitor cell; spinal cord injury

Published in

2021, Volume: 10, number: 7, article number: 1713
Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Cell Biology

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)