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Early Changes of Osteochondrosis in Medial Femoral Condyles from Rats

Kato, M., Onodera, T.
animal pathology, blood vessels, cartilage, chondrocytes, females, males, mineralization, necrosis, osteochondrosis, rats
Osteochondrosis developed from the early growing process of articular cartilage at the caudalcentral region of the medial femoral condyle in rats. Articular cartilage was thick at the region. Mineralization of the matrix in the thick deep zone was incomplete and major parts remained unmineralized. Cavity formation in the mineralized matrix resulting in osteochondrotic lesions was present in the deep zone at 6 weeks of age and was followed by an appearance of viable chondrocytes around it. Osteochondrotic lesions were present from the age of 10 weeks for females and 12 weeks for males. Cavities were expanded and increased in number, and eosinophilic necrotic foci were additionally seen. These changes were extended throughout the deep zone, and viable chondrocytes were also increased in number. The thick deep zone was retained and had no detectable invasions of blood vessels from the subchondral bone. At 20 weeks of age, necrotic areas containing large clefts were present in the basal layer of the thick deep zone and fibrotic lesions were seen beneath them. In normal cases, invasions of blood vessels were seen in the basal layer of the deep zone and also in the cavities of the cartilage; the deep zone was markedly thinned at 20 weeks of age.