Osteochondrosis affects both people and a range of domestic animals including horses, cows, pigs and dogs. The disease is especially common among Norwegian horses, in particular warmblood, and can lead to the development of loose flakes within the joint. These loose pieces can cause irritation, causing the joint to swell and the horse to become lame.
The disease is usually treated by surgical removal of the loose pieces, a procedure that is associated with risk to the horse and expense for the owner. Osteochondrosis is heritable, and affected horses can be denied certification for breeding programs if the disease is discovered on x-ray.
It was established in the 1970’s that osteochondrosis arises in the so-called growth cartilage. This is specialised tissue that is only found in the long bones of the skeleton before an animal attains its mature size.
For many years it was thought that cartilage is a non-vascular tissue, that is, without its own blood supply. Olstad and a research team from the equine clinic have now, however, discovered and described a rich blood supply running in so-called cartilage canals. This blood flow is, however, time-limited, and in the case of the hock joint, it disappears at around the age of two months. This explains to a large degree why the blood supply to the cartilage has been so poorly described previously.
Using a microscope, Olstad and the research group showed an association between the earliest stages of osteochondrosis and a failure of the blood flow to the growth cartilage.
The cartilage canals are repeatedly forced to cross the boundary between bone and cartilage. Studies have shown the blood vessels in these vascular channels failed at precisely the point where they crossed from solid bone over into the softer growth cartilage.
Olstad and the research team discovered that when the blood flow failed, the cartilage cells around the cartilage canals died, since they no longer received the oxygen and nourishment they depended on. Small areas of dead growth cartilage became isolated as weakened points under the joint surfaces. Upon loading, these areas could develop cracks and loosen, causing loose flakes within the joint.
Kristin Olstad B. V. Sc. , Cert. V.R,., M.R.C.V.S. defended her Philosophiae Doctor thesis with the title “Cartilage Canals in the Pathogenesis of Osteochondrosis in Horses”, at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, on February 29, 2008.
Magnhild Jenssen | alfa
Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering