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Bone. 2009 Sep;45(3):528-33. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2009.05.020. Epub 2009 Jun 2.

Co-Cr-Mo alloy particles induce tumor necrosis factor alpha production in MLO-Y4 osteocytes: a role for osteocytes in particle-induced inflammation.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Rush University Medical Center, 600 South Paulina Street AF507, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Wear debris-induced osteolysis is purportedly the limiting problem affecting the long term results of joint arthroplasty. Pathogenic effects of wear debris in peri-implant cells such as macrophages, osteoblasts and osteoclasts have been well studied. In contrast, the effects of wear debris on osteocytes, which make up over 90% of all bone cells, remain unknown. We hypothesized that metal implant debris can induce the pro-inflammatory response in osteocytes. This study demonstrated the effects of cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy (Co-Cr-Mo) particles on a well-characterized MLO-Y4 osteocyte cell line. Co-Cr-Mo alloy particle treatment significantly (p<0.05) up-regulated tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) gene expression after 3 and 6 h and TNFalpha protein production after 24 h, but down-regulated interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene expression after 6 h. Co-Cr-Mo alloy particle treatment also induced osteocyte apoptosis after 24 h. This apoptotic effect was partially (40%) dependent on TNFalpha. Therefore, our results suggest that osteocytes play a role in particle-induced inflammation and bone resorption following total joint arthroplasty by inducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and inducing osteocyte apoptosis.

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