Oligoclonal T-cell proliferation and interferon-γ production in periprosthetic inflammation

Cornelia M. Weyand, Annette Geisler, Alexander Brack, Mark E. Bolander, Jörg J. Goronzy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Total joint arthroplasty has dramatically changed the treatment options for patients with destructive joint disease. The materials used to manufacture implants are regarded as biologically inert; accordingly, arthroplasty is a very successful intervention for most patients. However, a subset of patients develops an inflammatory reaction around the prosthesis, causing implant loosening and irreversible bone destruction. To identify mechanisms leading to periprosthetic inflammation, the function and composition of macrophages and T cells accumulated in the pseudosynovia were examined. Tissue-infiltrating macrophages synthesized a spectrum of proinflammatory cytokines including IL-1β, IL-6, and TGF-β. T cells recruited to the periprosthetic inflammatory lesions were characterized by restricted diversity of T-cell receptors and the emergence of dominant clonal populations. T cells with identical T-cell receptor sequences, and thus with identical antigen specificity, were isolated from anatomically distinct and independent regions of the tissue. Transcription of IL-2, IFN-γ, and, in some patients, IL-4 genes in the periprosthetic membrane indicated functional activation of infiltrating T cells. Correlation of periprosthetic osteolysis with the tissue cytokine pattern demonstrated a relationship between IFN-γ transcription and bone loss. We propose that antigen-recognition events are critically involved in the development of periprosthetic inflammation and that the functional commitment of T cells recruited to the periprosthetic region influences whether periprosthetic inflammation is complicated by bone destruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-685
Number of pages9
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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