Extracellular matrix derived peptides and mesenchymal stem cell motility
Biomaterials derived from decellularised extracellular matrices have shown promise as tools in tissue regeneration and wound healing. Such materials display biocompatibility as well as inherent bioactivity, promoting constructive remodelling in healing tissues. In this study, the bioactivity of ovine forestomach matrix (a decellularised extracellular matrix biomaterial) is assessed based on its ability to affect the proliferation and migration of wound healing cells. This material supported cell attachment and proliferation, but did not allow cell infiltration in vitro. Enzymatic digestion of the material rendered soluble components that were able to induce proliferation and migration of some cell types. Cell-mediated processing of the material generated a protein or proteins with chemotactic activity for mesenchymal stem cells in vitro. Mass spectrometry analysis indicated the bioactive component consisted of the proteoglycan decorin, or fragments thereof. Decorin has not previously been shown to induce mesenchymal stem cell motility, and these findings may add to what is known about decorin and its role in constructive remodelling. Furthermore, this cell-mediated approach for ECM breakdown could lead to the discovery of other bioactive peptides involved in ECM remodelling and wound healing.