Abstract: The epiphyseal plate is a hyaline cartilage plate that sits between the diaphysis and the epiphysis. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of an injury in the growth plate chondrocytes through the study of histological morphology, immunohistochemistry, histomorphometry and Western Blot analyses of the caspase-3 and cleaved PARP-1, and levels of the inflammatory cytokines, Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α), in order to acquire more information about post-injury reactions of physeal cell turnover. In our results, morphological analysis showed that in experimental bones, neo-formed bone trabeculae—resulting from bone formation repair—invaded the growth plate and reached the metaphyseal bone tissue (bone bridge), and this could result in some growth arrest. We demonstrated, by ELISA, increased expression levels of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α. Immunohistochemistry, histomorphometry and Western Blot analyses of the caspase-3 and cleaved PARP-1 showed that the physeal apoptosis rate of the experimental bones was significantly higher than that of the control ones. In conclusion, we could assume that the inflammation process causes stress to chondrocytes that will die as a biological defense mechanism, and will also increase the survival of new chondrocytes for maintaining cell homeostasis. Nevertheless, the exact stimulus leading to the increased apoptosis rate, observed after injury, needs additional research to understand the possible contribution of chondrocyte apoptosis to growth disturbance.
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Musumeci, G.; Castrogiovanni, P.; Loreto, C.; Castorina, S.; Pichler, K.; Weinberg, A.M. Post-Traumatic Caspase-3 Expression in the Adjacent Areas of Growth Plate Injury Site: A Morphological Study. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 15767-15784.
Musumeci G, Castrogiovanni P, Loreto C, Castorina S, Pichler K, Weinberg AM. Post-Traumatic Caspase-3 Expression in the Adjacent Areas of Growth Plate Injury Site: A Morphological Study. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(8):15767-15784.
Musumeci, Giuseppe; Castrogiovanni, Paola; Loreto, Carla; Castorina, Sergio; Pichler, Karin; Weinberg, Annelie M. 2013. "Post-Traumatic Caspase-3 Expression in the Adjacent Areas of Growth Plate Injury Site: A Morphological Study." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 8: 15767-15784.