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J Orthop Res. 1999 Nov;17(6):797-802.

Interleukin-4 inhibits granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression by human monocytes in response to polymethylmethacrylate particle challenge in vitro.

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Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Stanford University School of Medicine, California, USA.


The outcome of total joint arthroplasty is determined by biological events at the bone-implant interface. Macrophages phagocytose implant or wear debris at the interface and release proinflammatory mediators such as interleukins 1 and 6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and prostaglandin E2. These mediators are thought to contribute to the resorption of periprosthetic bone. Previous studies of tissues harvested from the bone-implant interface of failed orthopaedic implants demonstrated a possible role for two other cytokines, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-4. The present study examined the effects of in vitro challenge with polymethylmethacrylate particles on the expression of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor by primary human monocytes/macrophages and the role of interleukin-4 in regulating this expression. The polymethylmethacrylate particles caused a dose-dependent release of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor at 48 hours. This release was accompanied by increased expression of interleukins 6 and 1beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Release of the lysosomal enzyme hexosaminidase also increased in response to the particles. Interleukin-4 inhibited the expression of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha at 48 hours in a dose-dependent manner. The data presented in this study confirm the hypothesis that interleukin-4 downregulates particle-induced activation of macrophages, as demonstrated by the decreased release of proinflammatory mediators.

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