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Knee. 2005 Apr;12(2):113-9.

Role of insulin like growth factor-I in repair response in immature cartilage.

Author information

  • 1Orthopaedics and Traumatology Department, Medical Faculty, Erciyes University, Kayseri 38039, Turkey. mtuncel@erciyes.edu.tr



The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of exogenous local Insulin like growth factor-I (IGF-I) on the repair of full-thickness articular cartilage defects in immature rabbits.


Thirty-six skeletally immature New Zealand rabbits between 6 and 8 weeks old were used. A single defect, 3.5-mm-wide by 4-mm-deep full-thickness articular cartilage defect in the medial femoral condyle, was created. The defect was either filled with a collagen sponge or with a collagen sponge impregnated with 5 mug of recombinant IGF-I. The animals were sacrificed at 4, 8 or 12 weeks, and the repair tissue was examined macroscopically and histologically. Repair tissue was also examined immunohistochemically for the presence of type-I collagen, type-II collagen and PCNA at all weeks.


Newly formed tissue in all of the defects in the IGF-I group had the gross, histological and histochemical appearance of a smooth, intact hyaline articular cartilage. The average total scores on the histological grading scale were significantly better (p<0.05) for the defects treated with recombinant IGF-I at all time points. Immunostaining with an antibody against type-II collagen showed the diffuse presence of the repair cartilage in the IGF-I treated defects. The control groups demonstrated minimum staining with type-II collagen antibody.


These findings suggest that repair of full-thickness immature cartilage defects can be enhanced by recombinant IGF-I.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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