A comparison of the inflammatory response to a polydimethylsiloxane implant in male and female Balb/c mice
The implantation of biomaterials elicits a host response that influences the long-term behavior of implanted medical devices. This foreign body response is governed by cells of the immune system. Because sexual dimorphism in the immune system is well-established, a comparative study of the foreign body response in male and female mice was initiated. Eight-week-old male and female Balb/c mice received two subcutaneous implants in the interscapular region of a smooth peroxide-catalyzed polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and were sacrificed at 2, 14, 42, 70, and 105 days after implantation (n=6 per sex per time point). Controls for each time point underwent the surgical procedure but received no implant. Tissue from the implant or surgical site was fixed, processed, and paraffin-embedded for histopathological evaluation and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). In control animals, an inflammatory response was observed at 2 days that was decreased by 14 days and absent after 42 days. At 2 and 14 days after PDMS implantation, a mild to moderate inflammatory reaction was observed around implants. The peak response was seen at 14 days, and granulation tissue, composed primarily of fibroblasts, macrophages, and neutrophils, was first observed at this time. After 105 days, the implantation site was surrounded by mature connective tissue, which had minimal numbers of macrophages and neutrophils, with severity scores that did not differ significantly in males and females. The immunostaining for TNF-α and IL-1β followed similar temporal patterns, with both reaching a peak at the two week time point and remaining elevated, compared to level of expression in the controls, throughout the 105 day observation period. Staining for both cytokines in the implanted animals was generally higher in females than in males, although this difference was significant only for IL-1β. These results suggest subtle differences between males and females in the activity of peri-implant inflammatory cells.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 21, Issue 19, October 2000, Pages 1947–1957