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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 20;8(6):e67127. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067127. Print 2013.

Cobalt-alloy implant debris induce HIF-1α hypoxia associated responses: a mechanism for metal-specific orthopedic implant failure.

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1
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Abstract

The historical success of orthopedic implants has been recently tempered by unexpected pathologies and early failures of some types of Cobalt-Chromium-Molybdenum alloy containing artificial hip implants. Hypoxia-associated responses to Cobalt-alloy metal debris were suspected as mediating this untoward reactivity at least in part. Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1α is a major transcription factor involved in hypoxia, and is a potent coping mechanism for cells to rapidly respond to changing metabolic demands. We measured signature hypoxia associated responses (i.e. HIF-1α, VEGF and TNF-α) to Cobalt-alloy implant debris both in vitro (using a human THP-1 macrophage cell line and primary human monocytes/macrophages) and in vivo. HIF-1α in peri-implant tissues of failed metal-on-metal implants were compared to similar tissues from people with metal-on-polymer hip arthroplasties, immunohistochemically. Increasing concentrations of cobalt ions significantly up-regulated HIF-1α with a maximal response at 0.3 mM. Cobalt-alloy particles (1 um-diameter, 10 particles/cell) induced significantly elevated HIF-1α, VEGF, TNF-α and ROS expression in human primary macrophages whereas Titanium-alloy particles did not. Elevated expression of HIF-1α was found in peri-implant tissues and synovial fluid of people with failing Metal-on-Metal hips (n = 5) compared to failed Metal-on-Polymer articulating hip arthroplasties (n = 10). This evidence suggests that Cobalt-alloy, more than other metal implant debris (e.g. Titanium alloy), can elicit hypoxia-like responses that if unchecked can lead to unusual peri-implant pathologies, such as lymphocyte infiltration, necrosis and excessive fibrous tissue growths.

PMID:
23840602
PMCID:
PMC3688623
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0067127
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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