Safranin O staining intensity in the epiphyseal growth plate of the femoral condyle. The reference value of 232 (100%; continuous line) was obtained by computing all available values from both non-arthritic rats and antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) rats. In untreated AIA rats, the right (arthritic) joint showed a significant reduction of proteoglycan content of the epiphysis in the short-term test (day 8; *P < 0.05). This loss was not observed following hyaluronic acid (HA) treatment (day 8). The latter values were comparable with non-arthritic animals and with the contralateral joint (data not shown). Long-term treatment with HA (day 29) induced a significant loss of proteoglycans in the epiphyseal growth plate (*** P < 0.001). In contrast, the arthritic joints of untreated AIA rats showed values comparable with non-arthritic rats and contralateral joints (not shown).
Roth et al. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2005 7:R677 doi:10.1186/ar1725