Cytokine release in mononuclear cells of patients with Co-Cr hip prosthesis

Donatella Granchi, Gabriela Ciapetti, Susanna Stea, Lucia Savarino, Federica Filippini, Alessandra Sudanese, Gianfranco Zinghi, Lucio Montanaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was the evaluation of the release of bone-resorbing cytokines in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of patients with aseptic loosening of Co-Cr hip prostheses. TNF-α, IL-6, and GM-CSF were measured in both unstimulated and PHA-stimulated PBMC, and in PBMC cultured in the presence of chromium and cobalt extracts. Blood samples from healthy donors were used as controls. Serum samples of both patients and healthy donors were tested to determine the concentration of metal ions. The proportion of lymphocyte, monocyte and lympocyte subpopulation in cultured PBMC did not differ in patients and the control group. In unstimulated PBMC the release of TNF was significantly higher in patients than in the control group, while IL-6 was significantly decreased and no change was observed for GM-CSF. When the PBMC were challenged with chromium extract, all the 'index of cytokine release' resulted higher in patients than in the control group; cobalt extract increased both the TNF and GM-CSF index, but not the index of IL-6 release. Metal concentrations in serum from patients were significantly increased and correlated with the TNF release in PBMC stimulated with both metal extract. Our results suggest that a CoCr-implant releases a large amount of metal ions which could mediate the priming or the renewal of a cell-mediated hypersensitivity reaction. The prevalence of circulating lymphocytes responsible for the delayed hypersensitivity, namely Th1, would justify both the significant increase of TNF and the significant decrease of IL6 in unstimulated PBMC of patients, as well as the significant increase of the 'index of cytokine release' after the challenge with metal ions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1086
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999


  • Bone-resorbing cytokines
  • Chromium-cobalt alloy
  • Hip prosthesis loosening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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