Sensory nerves in the interface membrane of aseptic loose hip prostheses

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1998 Jan;80(1):151-5. doi: 10.1302/0301-620x.80b1.8138.


We studied the presence of sensory nerves by immunohistochemistry in the interface membranes of hip prostheses after aseptic loosening. Substance P (SP), neurokinin A (NKA) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) were analysed as was protein gene product (PGP) 9.5, a general marker for nerve fibres. We identified nerve fibres in all samples but differences in their density were found. SP- and NKA-positive fibres were predominantly non-vascular, forming varicose nerve terminals. CGRP-immunoreactive nerve fibres with varicose terminals were seen mostly close to blood vessels, but also as free nerve endings. Sensory neuropeptides participate not only in nociception but also stimulate immune cells to release cytokines. The presence of sensory nerves in the interface membrane may reflect a pathophysiological response contributing to the aseptic loosening of hip prostheses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / analysis
  • Female
  • Hip Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Membranes / chemistry
  • Membranes / innervation
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers / metabolism*
  • Neurokinin A / analysis
  • Neuropeptides / analysis*
  • Prosthesis Failure*
  • Substance P / analysis


  • Neuropeptides
  • Substance P
  • Neurokinin A
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide