ACL Transection-Induced Arthritis in Walker Hound

Overview:

Dog anterior cruciate ligament transection

Transection of the anterior cruciate ligament (via arthroscopic, direct visualization through an incision or blind cut through a stab incision) results in a true instability-induced OA lesion that mimics OA occurring naturally in dogs or humans following traumatic injury. Clinically these lesions progress to OA in both species after extended periods of time. So from a pathogenesis perspective, this model offers the opportunity to study developing OA in a slowly progressive situation. Interestingly, transection of the ACL in beagle dogs results in very little overt cartilage degeneration over a 3- month period (unpublished, A. Bendele). However, osteophyte formation in the patellar groove is quite striking and unfibrillated articular cartilage may exhibit striking hypercellularity as a result of chondrocyte cloning. Animals show a greater tendency to favor or carry the limb for prolonged periods post-surgery than with the medial meniscectomy model. Presumably this is because they perceive greater instability/abnormality on load-bearing and attempt to compensate with a reduction in load-bearing. Although it is likely that with more time, they would develop OA lesions, the early changes are extremely mild and variable and so not conducive to efficient compound testing.

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