The influence of Ni(II) on surface antigen expression in murine macrophages

Vincenzo D'Antò, Alexander Eckhardt, Karl Anton Hiller, Gianrico Spagnuolo, Rosa Valletta, Luigi Ambrosio, Gottfried Schmalz, Helmut Schweikl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biomedical alloys may release nickel ions during corrosion phenomena and, in addition to their interaction with oral tissues, these ions may also influence characteristic properties of the immune system cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of nickel chloride on the expression of functionally distinct surface antigens in murine RAW macrophages. The expression of the surface antigens CD14, CD40, MHC class I, MHC class II, CD80, CD86, CD54 was analyzed by flow cytometry. The bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used as a positive control to induce antigen expression. Cells were stimulated with NiCl2 (0.1 and 0.5 mm) in the presence and absence of LPS (0.1 or 25 μg/ml). After exposure periods of 6, 24 and 48 h, LPS caused a time- and dose-dependent increase in the expression of all surface antigens. CD14 expression was up-regulated by 0.1 μg/ml LPS by about 10-fold after 24 h and 100-fold after 48 h. After 48 h, NiCl2 alone up-regulated the expression of all surface antigens between 2- and 4-fold, while in cells stimulated by LPS, 0.1 mm NiCl2 was effective only on CD14, CD40 and MHC class I. Moreover, 0.5 mm NiCl2 even inhibited the LPS-induced expression of all surface antigens, except for CD54, which was still significantly up-regulated. These results show that nickel chloride is able to induce an up-regulation of surface antigen expression, but a high concentration may impair essential functions of macrophages stimulated by LPS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1492-1501
Number of pages10
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Biocompatibility
  • Macrophages
  • Nickel
  • Surface antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biophysics


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