Characterization of the host inflammatory response following implantation of prolapse mesh in rhesus macaque

Published:August 07, 2015DOI:


      We sought to determine the predominant cell type (macrophage, T lymphocyte, B lymphocyte, mast cell) within the area of implantation of the prototypical polypropylene mesh, Gynemesh PS (Ethicon, Somerville, NJ); and to determine the phenotypic profile (M1 proinflammatory, M2 antiinflammatory) of the macrophage response to 3 different polypropylene meshes: Gynemesh PS (Ethicon), and 2 lower-weight, higher-porosity meshes, UltraPro (Ethicon) and Restorelle (Coloplast, Humblebaek, Denmark).

      Study Design

      Sacrocolpopexy was performed following hysterectomy in rhesus macaques. Sham-operated animals served as controls. At 12 weeks postsurgery, the vagina-mesh complex was excised and the host inflammatory response was evaluated. Hematoxylin and eosin was used to perform routine histomorphologic evaluation. Identification of leukocyte (CD45+) subsets was performed by immunolabeling for CD68 (macrophage), CD3 (T lymphocyte), CD20 (B lymphocyte), and CD117 (mast cell). M1 and M2 macrophage subsets were identified using immunolabeling (CD86+ and CD206+, respectively), and further evaluation was performed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for 2 M1 (tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin [IL]-12) and 2 M2 (IL-4 and IL-10) cytokines.


      Histomorphologic evaluation showed a dense cellular response surrounding each mesh fiber. CD45+ leukocytes accounted for 21.4 ± 5.4% of total cells within the perimesh area captured in a ×20 field, with macrophages as the predominant leukocyte subset (10.5 ± 3.9% of total cells) followed by T lymphocytes (7.3 ± 1.7%), B lymphocytes (3.0 ± 1.2%), and mast cells (0.2 ± 0.2%). The response was observed to be more diffuse with increasing distance from the fiber surface. Few leukocytes of any type were observed in sham-operated animals. Immunolabeling revealed polarization of the macrophage response toward the M1 phenotype in all mesh groups. However, the ratio of M2:M1 macrophages was increased in the fiber area in UltraPro (P = .033) and Restorelle (P = .016) compared to Gynemesh PS. In addition, a shift toward increased expression of the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10 was observed in Restorelle as compared to Gynemesh PS (P = .011).


      The host response to mesh consists predominantly of activated, proinflammatory M1 macrophages at 12 weeks postsurgery. However, this response is attenuated with implantation of lighter-weight, higher-porosity mesh. While additional work is required to establish causal relationships, these results suggest a link among the host inflammatory response, mesh textile properties, and clinical outcomes in the repair of pelvic organ prolapse.

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