Meniscal damage is, despite its major role in knee osteoarthritis (OA), often neglected in OA animal models. We evaluated structural meniscal degeneration during the course of OA in the murine collagenase-induced OA (CIOA) model. To investigate this, OA was induced in the knee joints of 33 male C57BL/6 mice by an intra-articular injection of 10U collagenase. The mice were sacrificed after 1, 3, 7, 14, 28, and 56 days, and the knees were harvested and processed for histological analysis. As control, six knees were obtained from 16-week-old mice in which no OA was induced. Meniscal damage, meniscal extrusion, and articular cartilage damage were evaluated on thionin-stained sections. Associations between parameters of interest were evaluated with Spearman rho correlation tests. When compared to non-OA knees, meniscal extrusion was visible from day 1 onwards and meniscal degeneration had a tendency to increase over time. The meniscus damage appeared around the same time as articular cartilage damage (day 14–28) and was statistically significantly more pronounced anterior than posterior, and no differences were seen between medial and lateral menisci. Meniscus and articular cartilage damage were moderately associated in the CIOA knees (ρ = 0.57; 95%CI [0.23–0.78]). Our findings suggest that the CIOA model is a valuable model to study the role of meniscal damage during OA progression and can support the development of future preventative treatment strategies.

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Journal of Orthopaedic Research: a journal for musculoskeletal investigation
Department of Orthopaedics

Utomo, L, Eijgenraam, S.M, Meuffels, D.E, Bierma-Zeinstra, S.M, Bastiaansen-Jenniskens, Y.M, & van Osch, G.J.V.M. (2018). Meniscal extrusion and degeneration during the course of osteoarthritis in the Murine collagenase-induced osteoarthritis model. Journal of Orthopaedic Research: a journal for musculoskeletal investigation, 36(9), 2416–2420. doi:10.1002/jor.23909