In rheumatoid arthritis, dysregulated cytokine signaling has been implicated as a primary factor in chronic inflammation. Many antirheumatic and biological therapies are used to suppress joint inflammation, but despite these advances, effectiveness is not universal, and delivery is often at high doses, which can predispose patients to significant off-target effects. During chronic inflammation, the inappropriate regulation of signaling factors by macrophages accelerates the progression of disease by driving an imbalance of inflammatory cytokines, making macrophages an ideal cellular target. To develop a macrophage-based therapy to treat chronic inflammation, we engineered a novel induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived macrophage capable of delivering soluble TNF receptor 1 (sTNFR1), an anti-inflammatory biologic inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), in an autoregulated manner in response to TNF-α. Murine iPSCs were differentiated into macrophages (iMACs) over a 17-day optimized protocol with continued successful differentiation confirmed at key timepoints. Varying inflammatory and immunomodulatory stimuli demonstrated traditional macrophage function and phenotypes. In response to TNF-α, therapeutic iMACs produced high levels of sTNFR1 in an autoregulated manner, which inhibited inflammatory signaling. This self-regulating iMAC system demonstrated the potential for macrophage-based drug delivery as a novel therapeutic approach for a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6201728
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
StatePublished - 2024


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