2017 Volume 29 Issue 4 Pages 598-604
[Purpose] Chondrocytes in articular cartilage are aligned as columns from the joint surface. Notably, loss of chondrocyte and abnormalities of differentiation factors give rise to osteoarthritis (OA). However, the relationship between chondrocyte alignment and OA progression remains unclear. This study was performed to investigate temporal alterations in surgically-induced OA rats. [Subjects and Methods] Thirteen-week-old Wistar rats (n=30) underwent destabilized medial meniscus surgery in their right knee and sham surgery in their left knee. Specimens (n=5) were collected at 0, 1, 2, 4 and 8 weeks after surgery. Histological analysis with Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) scores, cell density ratios, cell alignments and correlation between OARSI scores and cell density/alignment was performed. [Results] OARSI scores were significantly higher at 1, 2, 4 and 8 weeks in the DMM group than in the control. Cell density ratios were decreased significantly in the DMM group at 2, 4 and 8 weeks compared with the control. Chondrocyte alignment was decreased significantly in the DMM group at 4 and 8 weeks. There were negative correlations between OA severity and cell density / cell alignment. [Conclusion] The results suggest a relationship between chondrocyte alignment and cartilage homeostasis, which plays an important role in OA progression.