The effect of high-energy extracorporeal shock waves on hyaline cartilage of adult rats in vivo

Mayer-Wagner, Susanne; Ernst, Judith; Maier, Markus; Chiquet, Matthias; Joos, Helga; Müller, Peter E; Jansson, Volkmar; Sievers, Birte; Hausdorf, Jörg (2010). The effect of high-energy extracorporeal shock waves on hyaline cartilage of adult rats in vivo. Journal of orthopaedic research, 28(8), pp. 1050-6. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley 10.1002/jor.21074

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The aim of this study was to determine if extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in vivo affects the structural integrity of articular cartilage. A single bout of ESWT (1500 shock waves of 0.5 mJ/mm(2)) was applied to femoral heads of 18 adult Sprague-Dawley rats. Two sham-treated animals served as controls. Cartilage of each femoral head was harvested at 1, 4, or 10 weeks after ESWT (n = 6 per treatment group) and scored on safranin-O-stained sections. Expression of tenascin-C and chitinase 3-like protein 1 (Chi3L1) was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to examine collagen (II)alpha(1) (COL2A1) expression and chondrocyte morphology was investigated by transmission electron microscopy no changes in Mankin scores were observed after ESWT. Positive immunostaining for tenascin-C and Chi3L1 was found up to 10 weeks after ESWT in experimental but not in control cartilage. COL2A1 mRNA was increased in samples 1 and 4 weeks after ESWT. Alterations found on the ultrastructural level showed expansion of the rough-surfaced endoplasmatic reticulum, detachment of the cell membrane and necrotic chondrocytes. Extracorporeal shock waves caused alterations of hyaline cartilage on a molecular and ultrastructural level that were distinctly different from control. Similar changes were described before in the very early phase of osteoarthritis (OA). High-energy ESWT might therefore cause degenerative changes in hyaline cartilage as they are found in initial OA.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Orthodontics

UniBE Contributor:

Chiquet, Matthias








Eveline Carmen Schuler

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:08

Last Modified:

25 Jan 2017 12:16

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 199346)

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