Biomaterial particle phagocytosis by bone-resorbing osteoclasts.
Wang W., Ferguson DJ., Quinn JM., Simpson AH., Athanasou NA.
Abundant implant-derived biomaterial wear particles are generated in aseptic loosening and are deposited in periprosthetic tissues in which they are phagocytosed by mononuclear and multinucleated macrophage-like cells. It has been stated that the multinucleated cells which contain wear particles are not bone-resorbing osteoclasts. To investigate the validity of this claim we isolated human osteoclasts from giant-cell tumours of bone and rat osteoclasts from long bones. These were cultured on glass coverslips and on cortical bone slices in the presence of particles of latex, PMMA and titanium. Osteoclast phagocytosis of these particle types was shown by light microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis and SEM. Giant cells containing phagocytosed particles were seen to be associated with the formation of resorption lacunae. Osteoclasts containing particles were also calcitonin-receptor-positive and showed an inhibitory response to calcitonin. Our findings demonstrate that osteoclasts are capable of phagocytosing particles of a wide range of size, including particles of polymeric and metallic biomaterials found in periprosthetic tissues, and that after particle phagocytosis, they remain fully functional, hormone-responsive, bone-resorbing cells.