Quantitative small-animal surrogate to evaluate drug efficacy in preventing wear debris-induced osteolysis

E. M. Schwarz, E. B. Benz, A. P. Lu, J. J. Goater, A. V. Mollano, R. N. Rosier, J. E. Puzas, R. J. O'Keefe

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106 Scopus citations


Individuals who suffer from severe joint destruction caused by the various arthritidies often undergo total joint arthroplasty. A major limitation of this treatment is the development of aseptic loosening of the prosthesis in as many as 20% of patients. The current paradigm to explain aseptic loosening proposes that wear debris generated from the prosthesis initiates a macrophage-mediated inflammatory response by resident macrophages, leading to osteoclast activation and bone resorption at the implant interface. No therapeutic interventions have been proved to prevent or inhibit aseptic loosening. The development of therapeutic strategies is limited due to the absence of a quantitative surrogate in which drugs can be screened rapidly in large numbers of animals. We have previously described a model in which titanium particles implanted on mouse calvaria induce an inflammatory response with osteolysis similar to that observed in clinical aseptic loosening. Here, we present new methods by which the osteolysis in this model can be quantified. We determined that 6-8-week-old mice in normal health have a sagittal suture area of 50 (±6) μm2, which contains approximately five osteoclasts. As a result of the titanium-induced inflammation and osteolysis, the sagittal suture area increases to 197 (±27) μm2, with approximately 30 osteoclasts, after 10 days of treatment. The sagittal suture area and the number of osteoclasts in the calvaria of sham-treated mice remained unchanged during the 10 days. We also determined the effects of pentoxifylline, a drug that blocks the responses of tumor necrosis factor-α to wear debris, and the osteoclast inhibitor alendronate. We found that both drugs effectively block wear debris-induced osteolysis but not osteoclastogenesis. In conclusion, we found the measurements made with this model to be reproducible and to permit quantitative analysis of agents that are to be screened for their potential to prevent aseptic loosening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-855
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


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