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J Biomed Mater Res. 1996 Jul;31(3):345-53.

Silicone gel and octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) enhances antibody production to bovine serum albumin in mice.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21239, USA.


The purpose of the present study was to determine whether components of silicone breast implants [silicon (polydimethylsiloxane) oil, silicone gel, and octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4)] potentiate the antibody response to bovine serum albumin (BSA) in mice. Seventy A/J mice were divided into seven groups which received the following: group I--phosphate buffer solution (PBS); group II--20 centistoke (cs) silicone oil; group III--50% silicone gel homogenized in silicone oil; group IV--incomplete Freunds' adjuvant (IFA); group V--IFA mixed with an equal volume of silicone oil; group VI--D4; and group VII--IFA mixed with an equal volume of DA. Each 0.1 mL of treatment material(s) was mixed or emulsified with an equal 0.1-mL volume of 250 micrograms/mL BSA in PBS solution. Antibodies to BSA were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Our study demonstrates for the first time that both D4 and the silicone gel potentiate antibody production to BSA in mice. Histopathologic evaluation of the injection sites reveals granulomas for mice injected with IFA and D4 preparations. Whether D4 or silicone gel acts as an adjuvant against self-antigens has yet to be determined.

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