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Mononuclear osteoclast precursors are present in the wear-particle-associated macrophage infiltrate found in the membrane surrounding loose implants. These cells are capable of differentiating into osteoclastic bone-resorbing cells when co-cultured with the rat osteoblast-like cell line, UMR 106, in the presence of 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3. In order to develop an in vitro model of osteoclast differentiation which more closely parallels the cellular microenvironment at the bone-implant interface in situ, we determined whether osteoblast-like human bone-derived cells were capable of supporting the differentiation of osteoclasts from arthroplasty-derived cells and analysed the humoral conditions required for this to occur. Long-term co-culture of arthroplasty-derived cells and human trabecular-bone-derived cells (HBDCs) resulted in the formation of numerous tartrate-resistant-acid-phosphatase (TRAP) and vitronectin-receptor (VNR)-positive multinucleated cells capable of extensive resorption of lacunar bone. The addition of 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3 was not required for the formation of osteoclasts and bone resorption. During the formation there was release of substantial levels of M-CSF and PGE2. Exogenous PGE2 (10(-8) to 10(-6) M) was found to stimulate strongly the resorption of osteoclastic bone. Our study has shown that HBDCs are capable of supporting the formation of osteoclasts from mononuclear phagocyte precursors present in the periprosthetic tissues surrounding a loose implant. The release of M-CSF and PGE2 by activated cells at the bone-implant interface may be important for the formation of osteoclasts at sites of pathological bone resorption associated with aseptic loosening.

Original publication




Journal article


J bone joint surg br

Publication Date





892 - 900


Acid Phosphatase, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Animals, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Bone Resorption, Cell Differentiation, Cell Line, Coculture Techniques, Dinoprostone, Female, Humans, Isoenzymes, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Macrophages, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoblasts, Osteoclasts, Prosthesis Failure, Rats, Receptors, Vitronectin, Tartrate-Resistant Acid Phosphatase