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Effect of Methotrexate on Collagen-Induced Arthritis Assessed by Micro-Computed Tomography and Histopathological Examination in Female Rats

  • Kim, Young Hee (Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Namseoul University) ;
  • Kang, Jin Seok (Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Namseoul University)
  • Received : 2014.11.12
  • Accepted : 2014.12.29
  • Published : 2015.03.01

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) analysis provides a better quantitative readout of the therapeutic potential of methotrexate (MTX) for treating collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in rats and compared to conventional histopathological examination. Rats were divided into three groups: Group 1 (G1) was treated with 0.9% saline, whereas groups 2 (G2) and 3 (G3) were boosted with type II collagen at days 0 and 7. Following the first collagen immunization, rats in G1 and G2 were treated with 0.9% saline and those in G3 were treated with 1.5 mg/kg MTX from day 14 to 28. All rats were sacrificed on day 28, at which point and all hind knee joints were analyzed by micro-CT and histopathological examination. Micro-CT analyses showed that bone volume and trabecular number were significantly decreased in G2 and G3 compared to G1 (p<0.01), as was percent bone volume (p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively). However, bone surface/bone volume was significantly increased in G2 and G3 compared to G1 (p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively). Trabecular separation was significantly increased in G3 compared to G1 (p<0.05). Histopathological examination showed that knee joints of rats in G2 and G3 showed severe joint destruction with inflammatory cell infiltration. However, cartilage destruction was slightly reduced in G3 compared to G2. Taken together, these results suggest that MTX treatment reduced cartilage destruction in rats with CIA, and micro-CT analyses made it possible to quantify arthritic bony lesion.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Ministry of Health and Welfare

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