© 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 30:1830–1836, 2012

Role and regulation of VEGF and its receptors 1 and 2 in the aseptic loosening of total hip implants

Ville Waris Tarvo Sillat Eero Waris Liisa Virkki Jami Mandelin Michiaki Takagi Yrjö T. Konttinen

It was hypothesized that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in fibroblasts participates in aseptic loosening of total hip replacement (THR) implants. Therefore, osteoarthritic (OA) samples (n = 11) were compared with synovial membrane‐like interface tissues from revision THR (n = 10). VEGF‐A and its receptors were stained using streptavidin‐immunoperoxidase method. Their regulation by hypoxia and cytokines were studied in cultured fibroblasts using quantitative real‐time polymerase chain reaction (qRT‐PCR). VEGFR1+ lining cells (p < 0.01), stromal fibroblast‐like cells (p = 0.001) and stromal macrophage‐like cells (p < 0.05) were more numerous in rTHR than in OA. As to VEGFR2+, only stromal fibroblast‐like cells in rTHR outnumbered those found in OA (p < 0.05). VEGFRs in synovial fibroblasts were not affected by hypoxia, but VEGF increased 2.4‐fold (p < 0.05). Interleukin‐4 up‐regulated VEGFR1 expression 23‐fold. This is the first study to describe a difference between rTHR and OA in VEGF receptors, particularly VEGFR1. Hypoxia increased VEGF, but the VEGFR1 increase in the lining and stroma is probably IL‐4 driven, in accordance with the M2‐type macrophage dominance in interface tissues. VEGF/VEGFR system is also affected by hypoxia and may play a role in angiogenesis and bone pathology in aseptic loosening of total hip implants.

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