1999 Volume 61 Issue 3 Pages 233-238
The initial disorders of the epiphyseal growth plate cartilage were immunohistochemically examined in the proximal tibia of rats administered a high dose of vitamin A. Male Wistar rats were given 100, 000 IU/100 g body weight/day of vitamin A for administration periods of 1 to 5 days (Day 1 to 5) from 4 weeks after birth or were given deionized water and used as control. They were sacrificed after 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) injection on Day 1 to Day 5 to remove the tibiae. The tibiae were processed for immunohistochemical examinations using antibodies against type I, II, X collagens and BrdU. BrdU-incorporated chondrocytes and type X collagen-negative area were reduced since Day 2 and type X collagen-positive area was reduced since Day 4. The cartilage matrix partially lost type II collagen and deposited type I collagen in the epiphyseal growth plate near the periosteum on Day 5. These findings suggest that a high dose of vitamin A initially disturbed the differentiation from resting to proliferating chondrocytes, subsequently inhibited the differentiation from proliferating to hypertrophic chondrocytes, caused the chondrocytes to deviate from the process of normal differentiation, and finally resulted in the deformation of the epiphyseal growth plate.