Zoledronate causes a systemic shift of macrophage polarization towards M1 in vivo

Weber M, Homm A, Müller S, Frey S, Amann KU, Ries J, Geppert CI, Preidl R, Möst T, Kämmerer PW, Kesting MR, Wehrhan F (2021)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2021


Book Volume: 22

Pages Range: 1-19

Article Number: 1323

Journal Issue: 3

DOI: 10.3390/ijms22031323


Background: Immunomodulatory properties of bisphosphonates (BP) are suggested to contribute to the development of medication‐associated osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ). Further-more, bisphosphonate‐derived immune modulation might contribute to the anti‐metastatic effect observed in breast cancer patients. Macrophages are potential candidates for the mediation of immunomodulatory effects of bisphosphonates. The study aimed to investigate the influence of bisphosphonates alone and in combination with surgical trauma on systemic macrophage polarization (M1 vs. M2) using an in vivo rat model. Methods: A total of 120 animals were divided into four groups. Groups 2 and 4 were treated with 8 × 40 μg/kg body weight of the BP Zoledronate i.p. (week 0–7). Groups 3 and 4 were exposed to surgical trauma (week 8, tooth extraction + tibia fracture), whereas in Group 1 neither medication nor surgical trauma was applied. After 8, 10, 12 and 16 weeks, skin, lung and spleen were immunohistochemically examined for macrophage polarization via expression analysis of CD68, CD163 and iNOS using a tissue microarray (TMA). Results: A significant shift of macrophage polarization towards M1 was observed in skin, spleen and lung tissue of animals, with and without surgical trauma, treated with BP when compared to those without BP application. Surgical trauma did not cause a significant increase towards M1 polarization. Conclusions: BP application leads to a systemic pro‐inflammatory situation in vivo, independent of surgical trauma, as evidenced by the shift in macrophage polarization towards M1 in various somatic tissues. This provides a possible explanation for the clinically observed anti‐tumor effect of bisphosphonates and might also contribute to pathogenesis of MRONJ.

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Weber, M., Homm, A., Müller, S., Frey, S., Amann, K.U., Ries, J.,... Wehrhan, F. (2021). Zoledronate causes a systemic shift of macrophage polarization towards M1 in vivo. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(3), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031323


Weber, Manuel, et al. "Zoledronate causes a systemic shift of macrophage polarization towards M1 in vivo." International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22.3 (2021): 1-19.

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