Involvement of COX-2 in nickel elution from a wire implanted subcutaneously in mice

Taiki Sato, Yu Kishimoto, Sanki Asakawa, Natsumi Mizuno, Masahiro Hiratsuka, Noriyasu Hirasawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Many types of medical alloys include nickel (Ni), and the elution of Ni ions from these materials causes toxicities and inflammation. We have previously reported that inflammation enhances Ni elution, although the molecular mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. In this study, we investigated how inflammatory responses enhanced Ni elution in a wire-implantation mouse model. Subcutaneous implantation of Ni wire induced the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) mRNA in the surrounding tissues. Immunostaining analysis showed that cells expressing COX-2 were mainly fibroblast-like cells 8 h after implantation of a Ni wire, but were mainly infiltrated leukocytes at 24 h. NiCl 2 induced the expression of COX-2 mRNA in primary fibroblasts, neutrophils, RAW 264 cells, and THP-1 cells, indicating that Ni ions can induce COX-2 expression in various types of cells. The elution of Ni ions from the implanted Ni wire at 8 h was reduced by dexamethasone (Dex), indomethacin (Ind), or celecoxib (Cel) treatment. Ni wire implantation induced an increase in mRNA levels for anaerobic glycolytic pathway components glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), hexokinase 2 (HK2), lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), and monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4); the expression of these genes was also inhibited by Dex, Ind, and Cel. In primary fibroblasts, the expression of these mRNAs and the production of lactate were induced by NiCl 2 and further potentiated by PGE 2 . Furthermore, Ni wire-induced infiltration of inflammatory leukocytes was significantly reduced by Dex, Ind, or Cel. Depletion of neutrophils with a specific antibody caused reduction of both leukocyte infiltration and Ni elution. These results indicate that Ni ions eluted from wire induced COX-2 expression, which further promoted elution of Ni ions by increasing lactate production and leukocyte infiltration. Since COX inhibitors and Dex reduced the elution of Ni ions, these drugs may be useful for prevention of metal-related inflammation and allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1


  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Cyclooxygenase-2
  • Lactate
  • Leukocyte
  • Nickel elution


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