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Abstract

It is known that tissues surrounding the site of an implanted prosthetic alloy are exposed to increased concentrations of the metals comprising the alloy. However, the exact identity and concentration of such metallic products are usually unknown, thus limiting the possibilities for quantifying any observed toxicological response to the metals. This report describes some of the effects of increased concentrations (7.5–30 μg/ml; 1–5 × 10−4M) of cobalt (as CoCl2·6H2O) and of nickel (as NiCl2·6H2O) on the growth and morphology of cultured mouse fibroblasts. Ultrafiltration experiments indicated that much of the total Co or Ni present in cell culture medium could become bound to macromolecular serum components of the medium. Morphological changes and depressions in the cell growth rate were found to result from high concentrations (15–30 μg/ml) of either Co or Ni. However, lower concentrations of nickel may have produced some stimulation of cell growth, whereas all concentrations of Co studied were found to depress the rate of cell growth. The growth rate of actively proliferating fibroblasts was quite sensitive to variations in the concentration of either cobalt or nickel. Increased concentrations of cobalt or nickel, therefore, might also affect the normal reconstructive activity of fibroblasts in vivo.