Cathepsin G and alpha 1-antichymotrypsin in the local host reaction to loosening of total hip prostheses.
M Takagi ; Y T Konttinen ; S Santavirta ; P Kangaspunta ; A Suda ; P Rokkanen

Abstract

The tissue localization and content of the proteolytic enzyme cathepsin G and its inhibitor alpha 1-antichymotrypsin were studied in the local host reaction to loosening of total hip-replacement prostheses in eleven patients and were compared with those in samples of non-inflammatory tissue from the synovial capsule obtained during arthroscopies of the knee. Immunostaining demonstrated cellular localization of cathepsin G in 71 per cent of monocyte or macrophage-like cells and in 46 per cent of fibroblast-like cells in the samples of interface tissue between the bone and the loose acetabular component obtained at the time of the total hip replacements, and in 59 and 42 per cent, respectively, in the samples of pseudocapsular tissue obtained at the same time, whereas the synovial lining cells in the samples of non-inflammatory tissue from the synovial capsule revealed only a slight immunoreactivity to cathepsin G. Cathepsin-G activity was also measured with synthetic succinyl-alanine-alanine-proline-phenylalanine-paranitroanilide as a substrate, the degradation of which was monitored spectrophotometrically. In accordance with results from immunohistochemical studies, cathepsin-G activity was found in the samples of interface tissue (31.6 international units per liter) and the samples of pseudocapsular tissue (15.5 international units per liter) obtained during the total hip replacements, whereas the level of cathepsin-G was low in the samples of non-inflammatory synovial capsular tissue (2.5 international units per liter). Cathepsin-G activity in the samples of pseudosynovial fluid obtained at the time of the total hip replacements was low (2.4 international units per liter), although immunoblot analysis showed marked immunoreactive cathepsin G in the samples of pseudosynovial fluid. This low activity of cathepsin G might be explained by the presence of alpha 1-antichymotrypsin, which was detected by laser nephlometric immunoassay and immunoblot analysis. These results demonstrate increased concentration of cathepsin G locally in the tissues around loose total hip-replacement prostheses. Because cathepsin G is not only able to act on extracellular matrix components (such as gelatin, proteoglycan, elastin, and laminin) at a physiological pH but also is able to activate collagenase, gelatinase, and stromelysin proenzymes, to inactivate tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases, and to modulate tumor necrosis factor-alpha, it may play an important role in the degradation of periprosthetic connective tissue and in the lysis of bone around the implant, thus contributing to the loosening of prostheses.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)