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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Intra-articular injection of a nutritive mixture solution protects articular cartilage from osteoarthritic progression induced by anterior cruciate ligament transection in mature rabbits: a randomized controlled trial

Yoo-Sin Park1*, Si-Woong Lim23, Il-Hoon Lee24, Tae-Jin Lee5, Jong-Sung Kim6 and Jin Soo Han7

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Biomedical Science, College of Medicine 1F, Hanyang University, Haengdang-dong 17, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, 133-791, South Korea

2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Inje University, Gaekeum-dong 633-165, Pusanjin-gu, Pusan, 614-735, South Korea

3 Chamsarang PM&R Clinic, Chonho-dong 455, Gangdong-gu, Seoul, 134-020, South Korea

4 Kwangmyung PM&R Clinic, Kwangmyung-dong 340-5, Kwangmyung, Gyunggi-do, 423-016, South Korea

5 Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Chungang University, Heukseok-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, 155-756, South Korea

6 Laboratory Animal Research Center, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Ilwon-dong 50, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 135-710, South Korea

7 Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Hwayang-dong 1, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, 143-701, South Korea

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:R8  doi:10.1186/ar2114

Published: 26 January 2007

Abstract

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease that disrupts the collagenous matrix of articular cartilage and is difficult to cure because articular cartilage is a nonvascular tissue. Treatment of OA has targeted macromolecular substitutes for cartilage components, such as hyaluronic acid or genetically engineered materials. However, the goal of the present study was to examine whether intra-articular injection of the elementary nutrients restores the matrix of arthritic knee joints in mature animals. A nutritive mixture solution (NMS) was composed of elementary nutrients such as glucose or dextrose, amino acids and ascorbic acid. It was administered five times (at weeks 6, 8, 10, 13 and 16) into the unilateral anterior cruciate ligament transected knee joints of mature New Zealand White rabbits, and the effect of NMS injection was compared with that of normal saline. OA progression was histopathologically evaluated by haematoxylin and eosin staining, by the Mankin grading method and by scanning electron microscopy at week 19. NMS injection decreased progressive erosion of articular cartilage overall compared with injection of normal saline (P < 0.01), and nms joints exhibited no differences relative to normal cartilage that had not undergone transection of the anterior cruciate ligament, as assessed using the mankin grading method. Haematoxylin and eosin staining and scanning electron microscopy findings also indicated that nms injection, in constrast to normal saline injection, restored the cartilage matrix, which is known to be composed of a collagen and proteoglycan network. thus, nms injection is a potent treatment that significantly retards oa progression, which in turn prevents progressive destruction of joints and functional loss in mature animals.