Establishment of rat ankle post-traumatic osteoarthritis model induced by malleolus fracture.BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017 Nov 17; 18(1):464.BM
Malleolar fracture, which is present in 37-53% of human ankle osteoarthritis (OA), is the most common type of fracture in the ankle joint. In spite of this, no rat animal model has been developed for this type of injury to date. Here, we established a rat ankle post-traumatic OA (PTOA) model induced by malleolar fracture; this model will be useful in ankle OA research.
Two-month-old male Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were randomized into 2 groups (n = 19 per group): 1) malleolus articular fracture, dislocation, and immediate reduction on the right joints and 2) malleolus articular fracture on the right ankle. The contralateral ankle joints were used as controls. The fracture and healing processes were confirmed and monitored by radiography. Changes in inflammation were monitored in vivo by fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT). Cartilage damage and changes in expression of OA-related genes were analyzed by histology, immunohistochemistry, Real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) at 8 weeks post-surgery.
X-rays showed that all fractures were healed at 8 weeks post-surgery. A reproducible, mild to moderate degree of OA cartilage damage with reduced aggrecan was detected by histology in all animals in both groups but there was no significant difference between the two groups. Decreased Col-II and increased Col-X and MMP-13 levels were detected by qPCR, immunohistochemistry, ELISA and FMT from both groups cartilage.
Malleolus articular fracture alone induces ankle OA with lesions on the central weight bearing area of the tibiotalar joint in rats. This model will provide a reproducible and useful tool for researchers to study ankle OA.