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J Biomed Mater Res. 1986 Oct;20(8):1125-38.

In vitro testing of dental materials by means of macrophage cultures: II. Effects of particulate dental amalgams and their constituent phases on cultured macrophages.


It is known that macrophages play an important role in the removal of foreign particulate matter from tissue. When powdered dental amalgam is introduced into the soft tissues an amalgam tattoo is formed due to the intracellular degradation of amalgam by macrophages and their polykaryons. It was therefore feasible to study the effects of particulate amalgams as well as their individual phases on macrophages in vitro. The parameters compared were rate of the phagocytosis, changes of cellular morphology, and release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) to demonstrate plasma membrane permeability. It was shown that all the alloys except the Sn8Hg particles (gamma 2-phase) and gamma 2-containing Revalloy were effectively phagocytized by macrophages, and the alterations in cellular morphology were slight during the first day. Prominent cellular damage was seen in cultures treated with particulate Ag2Hg3 (gamma 1-phase) and Revalloy for 1 week. A slight increase in LDH activity in the medium was seen one hour after the alloy treatment. The LDH activities due to the amalgam treatment increased in the order Dispersalloy less than Revalloy less than Sybraloy. Intraperitoneal phagocytosis did not cause any morphological changes in macrophages, but the per cent of phagocytosis was diminished.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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