© 2011 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 29: 1572–1577, 2011

Chondroprotective effect of alendronate in a rabbit model of osteoarthritis

Takaaki Shirai Masahiko Kobayashi Kohei Nishitani Tsuyoshi Satake Hiroshi Kuroki Yasuaki Nakagawa Takashi Nakamura

The aim of this study was to determine how alendronate (ALN) alters cartilage degeneration and periarticular bone quality in a rabbit anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) model of osteoarthritis (OA). Thirty rabbits underwent an ACLT on the left knee and a sham operation on the right knee. Fifteen rabbits received weekly subcutaneous injections of ALN (0.14 mg/kg) and 15 rabbits (the control [cont] group) received saline. Animal knees were divided into four groups: cont/sham, cont/ACLT, ALN/sham, and ALN/ACLT. Histological, radiological, and immunohistochemical indices were evaluated for each group. Bone volume ratios by micro‐computed tomography showed that ALN prevented periarticular bone loss. Histologically, the cont/ACLT group had significantly worse cartilage damage than the cont/sham group 12 weeks after the surgery. However, the ALN/ACLT group had mild cartilage degeneration compared with that of the ALN/sham group. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that ALN suppressed the expression of matrix metalloproteinase‐13, interleukin‐1β, type‐X collagen, vascular endothelial growth factor, and receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand in OA cartilage. ALN had a chondroprotective effect in an experimental rabbit model of OA.

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