Research Papers:

Effects of wear particles of polyether-ether-ketone and cobalt-chromium-molybdenum on CD4- and CD8-T-cell responses

Zhe Du, Shujun Wang, Bing Yue, Ying Wang and You Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:11197-11208. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23757

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Zhe Du1,*, Shujun Wang2,*, Bing Yue1, Ying Wang2 and You Wang1

1Department of Bone and Joint Surgery, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China

2Department of Immunology, Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

You Wang, email: [email protected]

Ying Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: joint arthroplasty; wear particles; polyether-ether-ketone; cobalt-chromium-molybdenum; T-cell response

Received: July 23, 2017     Accepted: December 23, 2017     Published: December 29, 2017


T-cells, second only to macrophages, are often considered as the potential cells involved in debris-related failure of arthroplasty. Here, we assessed the effects of particulate wear debris on T-cells and inflammatory reactions. Blood samples from 25 donors were incubated with polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK) and cobalt-chromium-molybdenum (CoCrMo) particles generated by custom cryo-milling and pulverization. The T-cell phenotypes were assessed using immunostaining and flow cytometry. For the in vivo study, 0.1 mL of each particle suspension (approximately 1.0 × 108 wear particles) was injected into murine knee joints; the synovium and spleen were collected one week after the operation for histological examination and immunofluorescence staining. The T-cell responses observed included low-level activation of Th1, Th2, Th17, and CD8+ pathways after 72 h of co-culture of the particles with peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Obvious CD8+ T-cell responses were observed in local synovium and peripheral spleen, with higher inflammatory cytokine expression in the CoCrMo group. Relatively minor cytotoxic and immunological reactions were observed in vitro, with PEEK and CoCrMo particle-induced immune responses being primarily mediated by CD8+ T-cells, rather than CD4+ T-cells, in vivo. Overall, PEEK wear particles induced fewer inflammatory reactions than CoCrMo particles. This study verified that PEEK was suitable as a potential alternative for metals in total knee replacements in terms of the immunological reaction to PEEK particles, and shed light on the effects of wear particles from polymer and metal-based implants on immune responses.

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