To examine the effect of immobilization on the development of articular cartilage, we assessed glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content in the chick articular surface by delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC). Chick embryos were paralyzed by decamethonium bromide (DMB) from day 10 to either day 13 or day 16. The GAG content of the chick knee was compared with that of nonparalyzed chick embryos. Histologic analysis was unable to quantify GAG content; however, dGEMRIC demonstrated that GAG content was higher in the femoral condyles of the nonparalyzed embryos on day 13, and on day 16 the GAG content was lower in both the femoral condyles and the tibial plateaus of the nonparalyzed embryos. These results suggest that paralysis delays embryonic hind-limb development. Osteoblastic activity at the cartilage canal, as demonstrated by staining for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), was present only in the nonparalyzed chick embryos on day 16. The GAG content of the cartilage decreased when the cartilage canals began to form on day 16. The effect of immobilization on hindlimb development was indicated by the differences in the GAG content of the cartilage anlage measured by dGEMRIC in the developing knee joint of paralyzed and nonparalyzed embryonic chicks.
- Chick embryo
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging