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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The plasminogen activation system is upregulated in loosening of total hip prostheses.

Interface tissues and pseudocapsules from loose total hip replacements were removed during revision of 11 cases and were investigated for the plasminogen activation system and IL-1beta. Control samples of synovium were taken during knee arthroscopy (n 8), and from the hip joint during primary total hip replacement (n 5). The concentrations of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), tissue type plasminogen activator (tPA), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and interleukin 1beta were all found to be significantly different in interfaces and in pseudocapsules, compared to controls. Immunohistochemistry disclosed localization in periprosthetic tissues of uPA, uPA-receptor and tPA in macrophages with phagocytosed metal, polyethylene, cement particles or accompanying pieces of necrotic bone. PAI-1 staining was present in the neighboring areas that stained for uPA or tPA, but PAI-1 staining was also found overlapping and outside these areas. These findings suggest a role for the uPA/uPA- receptor and PAI-1 in activation and focalization of extracellular matrix degradation in periprosthetic tissues. The expression of the plasminogen activation system by macrophages containing phagocytosed material suggests undegradable microdebris as a possible initiating and perpetuating stimulus for a proteolytic activation cascade, which may contribute to loosening of the prosthesis.[1]


  1. The plasminogen activation system is upregulated in loosening of total hip prostheses. Nordsletten, L., Buo, L., Takagi, M., Konttinen, Y.T., Yamakawa, M., Santavirta, S., Aasen, A.O. Acta orthopaedica Scandinavica. (1996) [Pubmed]
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