Polysulphated glycosaminoglycan treatments can effect

some early signs of osteoarthrosis

in a traumatized animal joint.


J. Orthopaedic Research. 18(5):756-761,2000.


Ewers, BJ, Haut, RC .



A single, blunt impact to the rabbit patello-femoral joint causes changes in retropatellar cartilage and underlying bone. Polysulphated glycosaminoglycans (PSGAG) have been shown to inhibit the degradation of articular cartilage, and possibly increase synthesis of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of PSGAG treatment on an in vivo model of post-traumatic OA. This study used 32 Flemish Giant rabbits in four groups: control, impacted, impacted with six weeks of treatment, and impacted with 18 weeks of treatment. Treatment consisted of intramuscular injections every four days. At 18 weeks mechanical tests on the retropatellar cartilage were performed to determine its mechanical integrity. The patellae were histologicaly processed and scored for pathology along with determining subchondral bone thickness. There were significant decreases in elastic moduli and increases in permeability for the impacted group receiving no treatment. However, these changes were not observed in the group receiving six weeks of treatment. There were significant increases in pathohistological scores and subchondral plate thickness for every group, except controls. In conclusion, the PSGAGs had a positive effect on the mechanical integrity of the articular cartilage, but not on the subchondral bone remodeling or surface lesions created during the trauma.



Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratories,

 College of Osteopathic Medicine,

 Michigan State University,

 East Lansing, Michigan 48824


Please address correspondence to:


Roger C. Haut, Ph.D.,

 Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory,

 College of Osteopathic Medicine,

 A414 East Fee Hall,

 Michigan State University,

 East Lansing, MI 48824,

Tel:  (517)355-0320,

 Fax:  (517)353-0789,

  E-mail:  haut@msu.edu