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Alterations in the vimentin cytoskeleton in response to single impact load in an in vitro model of cartilage damage in the rat.

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Henson, Frances MD 
Vincent, Thea A 


BACKGROUND: Animal models have provided much information on molecular and cellular changes in joint disease, particularly OA. However there are limitations to in vivo work and single tissue in vitro studies can provide more specific information on individual events. The rat is a commonly used laboratory species but at the current time only in vivo models of rat OA are available to study. The purpose of this study was to investigate the damage that single impact load (SIL) of 0.16J causes in a rat cartilage in vitro model and assess whether this load alters the arrangement of vimentin. METHODS: Rat cartilage was single impact loaded (200 g from 8 cm) and cultured for up to 48 hours (n = 72 joints). Histological changes were measured using a semi-quantitative modified Mankin score. Immunolocalisation was used to identify changes in vimentin distribution. RESULTS: SIL caused damage in 32/36 cartilage samples. Damage included surface fibrillation, fissures, fragmentation, changes in cellularity and loss of proteoglycan. SIL caused a statistically significant increase in modified Mankin score and chondrocyte clusters over time. SIL caused vimentin disassembly (as evidenced by collapse of vimentin around the nucleus). CONCLUSION: This study describes a model of SIL damage to rat cartilage. SIL causes changes in histological/chemical parameters which have been measured using a semi-quantitative modified Mankin score. Single impact load also causes changes in the pattern of vimentin immunoreactivity, indicating vimentin dissassembley. Using a semi-quantitative scoring system the disassembly was shown to be statistically significant in SIL damaged cartilage. The changes described in this paper suggest that this novel single tissue rat model of joint damage is a possible candidate model to replace in vivo models.



Animals, Cartilage, Chondrocytes, Cytoskeleton, Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Models, Animal, Proteoglycans, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Tissue Culture Techniques, Vimentin, Weight-Bearing

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BMC Musculoskelet Disord

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC