The impact of common mild hypothermia on structural organization of the articular cartilage of lumbar spine fascets in rats

Svitlana Malyshkina, Inna Batura, Iryna Vishnyakova, Zinayda Danishchuk, Kateryna Samoilova


Hypothermia, depending on its duration and severity leads to structural and functional disturbances of bone tissue, which is closely related to the articular cartilage.

Objective: To study the structural organization of the articular cartilage of facet joints of the lumbar spine in rats s after hypothermia modeling.

Methods: for mild hypothermia modeling white laboratory male rats aged 6 months retained for 5 days in the single cold chamber (–20 °C) for 5 hours daily. Control animals were kept at a tem­perature of 18–20 °C. Articular cartilage is examined after 1, 7, 14 and 28 days after cessation of cold exposure using histology methods.

Results: decline in body temperature to 2.29 °C in the experimental rats on day 5 compared to the beginning of the experiment shows the development of mild hypothermia by the classification of J. Tuli. It was found a negative impact of general light hypothermia on the articular cartilage of facet joints. At all stages of the research in the articular cartilage found destructive changes — decrease in chondrocyte density in all areas of the cartilage, the appearance of a cell or nucleus pyknosis and lysis, matrix separation, cracks, erosion and cysts violation basophilic line. It is noted violations of the struc­tural organization of the subchondral bone. After 14 and 28 days in the articular cartilage of experimental animals revealed a mi­nor reduction processes, as evidenced by the emergence of large chondrocytes with hypochromic nuclei and basophilic cytoplasm and indicated the biosynthetic activity of these cells. However, the destructive changes in the articular cartilage and subchon­dral bone prevailed and on these terms.

Conclusions: The overall mild hypothermia may be the cause of osteoarthritic changes in the articular cartilage of facet joints, especially in the elderly, which could affect the structural organization of the intervertebral disc.


experiment; general hypothermia; articular cartilage; zygapophysial joint


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