MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive
artificial joints made with titanium may develop painful
inflammation that could destroy bone and loosen the new joint,
according to a new study of mice published by the
Journal of Immunology.
Contrary to previous studies that blamed bacteria for the
inflammation, researchers at the University of Medicine and
Dentistry of New Jersey reported that tiny titanium particles that
flake off the artificial joints through normal wear and tear may be
the cause of the inflammation.
The type of inflammatory response triggered, known as a Th2
response, is more commonly associated with allergic responses and
parasitic worm infections, the researchers said in a university
news release. The titanium particles, which were seen an invading
parasites or allergens, resulted in the generation of immune cells
called "alternatively activated macrophages" in the mice.
The release noted although the potential effects of inflammation
in the joint are not entirely clear, there is increasing evidence
that alternatively activated macrophages contribute to bone
destruction in patients who receive prostheses and in those with
certain forms of arthritis.
The American Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons provides more