Articular cartilage is more susceptible to blood induced damage at young than at old age

G. Roosendaal, J. M. TeKoppele, M. E. Vianen, H. M. van den Berg, F. P. Lafeber, J. W. Bijlsma

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It has been shown that cartilage is damaged upon intraarticular hemorrhage. We investigated differences in the susceptibility of cartilage from young adult and old animals to blood induced joint damage in a canine in vivo model. Right knees of 6 young adult beagles (aged 2.2 +/- 0.1 yrs) and 6 old beagles (7.4 +/- 0.3 yrs) were intraarticularly injected twice in 4 days with autologous blood. Dogs were killed 4 or 16 days after the first injection and cartilage matrix proteoglycan content and synthesis and collagen damage were determined. Shortly after blood injection (Day 4), proteoglycan synthesis was inhibited and the proteoglycan content of the cartilage was decreased in both groups. However, the degree of the inhibition of proteoglycan synthesis was significantly greater in young adult animals than in old animals. On Day 16 proteoglycan synthesis was increased in both young adult and old cartilage, but more elevated in old cartilage. The proteoglycan content remained decreased in both young adult and old cartilage, but significantly more so in young adult cartilage than in old cartilage. Results suggest that intraarticular bleeding influences cartilage metabolism and repair, and that the cartilage of young adult animals is more susceptible to these influences than cartilage of old animals. Differences in the aging of chondrocytes and age related changes in matrix integrity may be involved. Prevention and appropriate treatment of joint bleeding is indicated and this is especially relevant for young adult cartilage
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1740-1744
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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