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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2001 Aug;12(8):659-64.

Hydroxyapatite particles are capable of inducing osteoclast formation.

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Department of Pathology, University of Oxford, Nuffield Orthopaedic Center, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LD, UK.


Hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings have been used to improve implant fixation by promoting bone formation around the prosthesis. A macrophage response to HA particulates has been noted around loosened HA-coated prostheses. As biomaterial wear particle-associated macrophages are known to be capable of differentiating into osteoclasts that are capable of bone resorption, we examined whether particulate HA could similarly induce macrophage-osteoclast differentiation. HA-associated macrophages were isolated from granulomas, formed by subcutaneous implantation of HA, and co-cultured with UMR 106 osteoblast-like cells in the presence of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) for up to 14 days on glass coverslips and bone slices. HA-associated macrophage-osteoclast differentiation was evidenced by the formation of numerous multinucleated tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive cells which formed lacunar resorption pits on bone slices. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) particle-associated macrophages, isolated from subcutaneous PMMA-containing granulomas, caused significantly more osteoclast formation and bone resorption than HA-associated macrophages. These results indicate that macrophages responding to HA particles are capable of osteoclast differentiation. They also suggest that particles derived from uncemented (HA-coated) implants are likely to induce less osteoclast formation and osteolysis than cemented implants.

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