Safranin O staining intensity in different layers of the articular cartilage. Comparisons were made for different layers (S, superficial layer; M, middle layer; D, deep layer; and C, calcified cartilage) between non-arthritic rats, untreated antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) rats, and hyaluronic acid (HA)-treated AIA rats in terms of relative differences between right (arthritic) and left (contralateral) joints. In the short-term test (day 8) untreated AIA rats showed a reduced proteoglycan content in the superficial layer (** P = 0.01), middle layer (* P < 0.05), and calcified cartilage (* P < 0.05). HA-treated AIA rats showed proteoglycan contents comparable with those of non-arthritic rats in all layers. In the long-term test (day 29), untreated AIA rats also showed reduced proteoglycan contents in all layers compared with non-arthritic rats, but no statistical significance was attained. HA-treated AIA rats showed proteoglycan contents comparable with those of non-arthritic rats.
Roth et al. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2005 7:R677-R686 doi:10.1186/ar1725