Author(s): Vasilceac FA, Renner AF, Teodoro WR, MattielloRosa SM
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Abstract To evaluate the remodeling of collagen fibers in the articular cartilage of rat ankles, with and without immobilization, after application of muscle stretching protocol. Twenty three Wistar rats were divided into four groups: immobilized (I), n=6; immobilized and stretched (IS), n=6; stretched (S), n=6 and control (C), n=5. The animals in groups I and IS were submitted to immobilization. After the period of immobilization, the animals in groups IS and S were submitted to a muscle stretching protocol. At the end of the experiment, the animals were euthanized and the joints removed, processed and stained with Picrosirius red. The analysis was carried out using a polarized light microscope. The density of collagen fibers were quantified according to the intensity of birefringence displayed. By way of statistical analyses, the right and left hind limbs of the different groups were compared based on the total density of collagen fibers, the density of thick collagen fibers and the density of thin collagen fibers. Immobilization promoted a reduction in density of the thin fibers and of total collagen. The muscle stretching protocol after immobilization promoted a reduction in density of the total collagen and of the thick fibers, but the density of the thin fibers showed the same values as control. The collagen fibers were remodeled by the different stimuli. Immobilization was harmful to the collagen fibers and the muscle stretching protocol only recovered the thin collagen fibers.
This article was published in Rheumatol Int
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis