© 2009 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 28:361–369, 2010

Low‐intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) increases the articular cartilage type II collagen in a rat osteoarthritis model

Kiyohito Naito Taiji Watari Tomoya Muta Atsushi Furuhata Hideaki Iwase Mamoru Igarashi Hisashi Kurosawa Isao Nagaoka Kazuo Kaneko

In this study, the effect of low‐intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) on cartilage was evaluated in a rat osteoarthritis (OA) model using serum biomarkers such as CTX‐II (type II collagen degradation) and CPII (type II collagen synthesis) as well as histological criteria (Mankin score and immunohistochemical type II collagen staining). OA was surgically induced in the knee joint of rats by anterior cruciate/medial collateral ligament transection and medial meniscus resection (ACLT + MMx). Animals were divided into three groups: sham‐operated group (Sham), ACLT + MMx group without LIPUS (−LIPUS), and ACLT + MMx group with LIPUS (+LIPUS; 30 mW/cm2, 20 min/day for 28 days). CTX‐II levels were elevated in both −LIPUS and +LIPUS groups compared to that in the Sham group after the operation, but there was no significant difference between +LIPUS and −LIPUS groups, suggesting that LIPUS does not affect the degradation of type II collagen in this model. In contrast, CPII was significantly increased in +LIPUS group compared to −LIPUS and Sham. Moreover, histological damage on the cartilage (Mankin score) was ameliorated by LIPUS, and type II collagen was immunohistochemically increased by LIPUS in the cartilage of an OA model. Of interest, mRNA expression of type II collagen was enhanced by LIPUS in chondrocytes. Together these observations suggest that LIPUS is likely to increase the type II collagen synthesis in articular cartilage, possibly via the activation of chondrocytes and induction of type II collagen mRNA expression, thereby exhibiting chondroprotective action in a rat OA model.

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