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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 539834, 9 pages
Research Article

Allergy or Tolerance: Reduced Inflammatory Cytokine Response and Concomitant IL-10 Production of Lymphocytes and Monocytes in Symptom-Free Titanium Dental Implant Patients

1Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Frauenlobstraße 9-11, 80337 Munich, Germany
2Department of Dentistry, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
3Dental Surgery, Bahhnhofstraße 20, 87700 Memmingen, Germany
4Clinic of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital of Zürich, Rämistr. 100, 8091 Zürich, Switzerland

Received 30 April 2013; Revised 24 July 2013; Accepted 25 July 2013

Academic Editor: Taiyoun Rhim

Copyright © 2013 Peter Thomas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hypersensitivity reactions to titanium (Ti) are very rare. Thus, we assessed the proinflammatory response and also potential tolerance favoring in vitro reactivity of human blood lymphocytes and monocytes (PBMC) to Ti in healthy individuals (14 without, 6 with complication-free dental Ti implants). The proliferation index (SI) in lymphocyte transformation test (LTT) and production of cytokines linked to innate immune response (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNFα) or immune regulation (IL-10) were assessed in response to TiO2 particles or Ti discs. In both groups, the Ti-LTT reactivity was not enhanced (e.g., ). The control antigen tetanus toxoid (TT) gave adequate reactivity (median SI individuals without/with implant: / ). Individuals without implant showed higher cytokine response to Ti materials than individuals with symptom-free implants; for example, TiO2 rutile particle induced increase of IL-1β 70.27-fold/8.49-fold versus control medium culture. PBMC of 5 of the 6 individuals with complication-free Ti implants showed an ex vivo ongoing production of IL-10 (mean  pg/mL)-but none of the 14 controls showed such IL-10 production. Thus in vitro IL-1β-, IL-6-, and TNF-α production reflects “normal” unspecific immune response to Ti. This might be reduced by production of tolerogenic IL-10 in individuals with symptom-free Ti dental implants.