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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1975;(107):232-8.

The effect of growth hormone on established cartilage lesions. A presidential address to the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons, 1974.


The major problem in osteoarthritis research today is our inability to promote effective cartilage regeneration in the presence of adult chondromalacia. Yet such regeneration is consistently present in acromegalics. The present study of experimentally damaged rabbit knee cartilage measures numbers of cells, mitoses, tritiated thymidine incorporation, DNA content, collagen presence under polarized light and sulfated protein polysaccharides histologically. Under growth hormone stimulation cell counts nearly double as compared to controls, TTI increases, DNA content triples or more. Matrix healing is evident histologically. The addition of salicylate has a mild additive effect on cell counts and on retention of matrix. The above data appear to be the first reported demonstration of these effects of growth hormone on experimentally damaged cartilage and may gain importance for clinical use when human growth hormone or substitutes for it become available.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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