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
How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences