The objective of this article was to assess whether matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) is produced by cells of the peri-implant interface tissues and to further characterize these cells. Tissue specimens were collected from the bone-prosthesis interface at the time of revision surgery of clinically loosened hip and knee arthroplasties (n = 27). Synovial tissues from osteoarthritic patients and young patients with mild joint deformity were used as controls (n = 6). Tissue samples were fixed in 4% PFA, decalcified with EDTA, and embedded in paraffin. Sections (4 microm) were stained with hematoxylin/eosin and for the osteoclastic marker enzyme tartrate resistant acid phosphatase. Monocytes/macrophages were characterized with a monoclonal antibody against CD68 and mRNAs encoding MMP-13 and alpha(1) collagen I (COL1A1) were detected by in situ hybridization. Cells expressing transcripts encoding MMP-13 were found in 70% of the interface tissues. These cells colocalized with a cell population expressing COL1A1 mRNA, and were fibroblastic in appearance. MMP-13 expressing cells were found in the close vicinity of osteoclasts and multinuclear giant cells. No signals for transcripts encoding MMP-13 were detected in multinuclear giant cells or in osteoclasts. Control tissues were negative for transcripts encoding MMP-13 mRNA. Fibroblasts of the interface from aseptically loosened endoprostheses selectively express MMP-13. By the expression and the release of MMP-13, these fibroblastic cells may contribute to the local degradation of the extracellular matrix and to bone resorption.
(c) 2007 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.