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The influence of meniscectomy and ovariectomy on the ovine anterior cruciate ligament

Daniel, Alison (2013) The influence of meniscectomy and ovariectomy on the ovine anterior cruciate ligament. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Current research supports a link between osteoarthritis (OA) and the decline in oestrogen levels at menopause. It is not known whether altered hormone levels exert their effect primarily on articular cartilage, or whether associated degeneration of other oestrogen-responsive joint tissues such as cruciate ligaments may significantly contribute. This study investigated the influence of ovariectomy and/or the presence of concurrent osteoarthritis (bilateral meniscectomy model) on the fibrillar structure of collagen within the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Sheep (n=24) were treated experimentally with one or more of the following treatments: ovariectomy (OVX), meniscectomy (MENX) or non-operated control (NOC). ACLs were examined using transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM & SEM), gene expression, biochemical analysis and histology.

TEM studies showed OVX and MENX affect collagen fibril size and arrangement, while the combination of prior OVX and concurrent osteoarthritis (MENX) produced a different pattern of derangement to either treatment alone and may indicate a synergistic effect. Observed structural changes complemented molecular findings of altered mRNA expression, and changes in the collagen and sulphated glycosaminoglycan content of ACL tissue. This study demonstrates that ovariectomy significantly affects ACL collagen fibril structure, and influences the response of the ACL to surgical OA (MENX). These results show the potential for changes in ACL structure post-menopause to influence joint integrity.

Publication Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor: Read, Rick and Cake, Martin
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