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Exp Mol Pathol. 2004 Oct;77(2):145-8.

Localization of vascular endothelial growth factor during the early reparative phase of the rats' vessels deprivation-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral heads.

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  • 1The Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, Haifa 31048, Israel.


The expedited revascularization of the rats' avascular, necrotic femoral heads suggests the operation of angiogenic factor(s). The blood circulation of the epiphysis was interrupted by cutting the cervical periosteum and the ligamentum teres of rats' femoral heads. Three days postoperatively, the marrow was necrotic. Seven days postoperatively, the subchondral bony plate and trabecular bone were necrotic as well. The joint capsule was distended by myriad, so-called synovial fibroblasts, all of which were virtually immunoreactive with an antibody to vascular endothelial growth factor. The expression of this factor in the synovial membrane of non-operated rats was limited to preexisting blood vessels. Revascularization of necrotic, avascular femoral heads makes up the essential step in the chain of events terminating in the repair processes, that is, resorption of the necrotic debris and its substitution by newly formed bony and hematopoietic-fatty tissues. Synthesis and release of excessive amounts of vascular endothelial growth factor by these fibroblasts explain the lively angiogenesis in the necrotic intertrabecular spaces of the femoral heads.

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