Age-related Changes in the Articular Cartilage of the Stifle Joint in Non-working and Working German Shepherd Dogs

Abstract : The aims of this study were to define age-related histological changes in the articular cartilage of the stifle joint in non-chondrodystrophic dogs and to determine whether physical activity has a positive impact on preservation of cartilage structure during ageing. Twenty-eight German shepherd dogs were included in the study. These dogs had no evidence of joint inflammation as defined by clinical assessment, radiology and synovial fluid analysis (specifically absence of synovial fluid serum amyloid A). The dogs were grouped as young working (n = 4), young non-working (n = 5), aged working (n = 13) and aged non-working (n = 6) animals. Gross changes in the stifle joints were recorded and biopsy samples of femoral and tibial articular cartilage were evaluated for thickness; chondrocyte number, density, surface area and morphology; isogenous group morphology; tidemark integrity; subchondral bone structure; presence of pro-teoglycans/glycosaminoglycans; and expression of type I, II and X collagens. The major age-related changes, not related to type of physical activity, included elevated chondrocyte density and thinning of tibial cartilage and increased chondrocyte surface area in the superficial and intermediate zone of the femoral cartilage. There was also expression of type X collagen in the femoral and tibial calcified and non-calcified cartilage; however, type X collagen was not detected in the superficial zone of old working dogs. Therefore, ageing, with or without physical activity, leads to slight cartilage degeneration, while physical activity modulates the synthesis of type X collagen in the superficial cartilage zone, partially preserving the structure of hyaline cartilage.
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Contributor : Valérie Pecqueret <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 23, 2018 - 3:03:52 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 2:21:40 PM

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J. Francuski, A. Radovanović, N. Andrić, V. Krstić, D. Bogdanović, et al.. Age-related Changes in the Articular Cartilage of the Stifle Joint in Non-working and Working German Shepherd Dogs. Journal of Comparative Pathology, Elsevier, 2014, 151 (4), pp.363 - 374. ⟨10.1016/j.jcpa.2014.09.002⟩. ⟨inserm-01847369⟩

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