Evaluation of Adverse Effects of Resorbable Hyaluronic Acid Fillers: Determination of Macrophage Responses

Wim H De Jong*, Danyel Jennen, Peter H J Keizers, Hennie M Hodemaekers, Jolanda P Vermeulen, Frank Bakker, Paul Schwillens, Marcel van Herwijnen, Marlon Jetten, Jos C S Kleinjans, Robert E Geertsma, Rob J Vandebriel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Resorbable tissue fillers for aesthetic purposes can induce severe complications including product migration, late swelling, and inflammatory reactions. The relation between product characteristics and adverse effects is not well understood. We hypothesized that the degree of cross-linking hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers was associated with the occurrence of adverse effects. Five experimental HA preparations similar to HA fillers were synthesized with an increasing degree of cross-linking. Furthermore, a series of commercial fillers (Perfectha®) was obtained that differ in degradation time based on the size of their particulate HA components. Cytotoxic responses and cytokine production by human THP-1-derived macrophages exposed to extracts of the evaluated resorbable HA fillers were absent to minimal. Gene expression analysis of the HA-exposed macrophages revealed the responses related to cell cycle control and immune reactivity. Our results could not confirm the hypothesis that the level of cross-linking in our experimental HA fillers or the particulate size of commercial HA fillers is related to the induced biological responses. However, the evaluation of cytokine induction and gene expression in macrophages after biomaterial exposure presents promising opportunities for the development of methods to identify cellular processes that may be predictive for biomaterial-induced responses in patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7275
Number of pages17
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • adverse effects
  • hyaluronic acid
  • macrophage responses
  • resorbable fillers


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