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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of Vitamin D Supplementation on Articular Cartilage Morphology in a Young Healthy Sedentary Rat Model

1
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Human Anatomy and Histology Section, School of Medicine, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
2
Research Center on Motor Activities (CRAM), University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Co-first authorship.
Co-last authorship.
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061260
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
Deficiency in vitamin D (Vit D) has been widely associated with several musculoskeletal diseases. However, the effects of the exogenous Vit D supplementation are still unclear in the prevention of the latter, especially in the cartilage developmental period. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of Vit D supplementation and restriction on the articular cartilage development in healthy young sedentary rats. To this aim, twelve nine-week-old healthy Sprague–Dawley male rats were subjected to Vit D-based experimental diets: R, with a content in Vit D of 1400 IU/kg; R-DS, with a Vit D supplementation (4000 IU/kg); R-DR, with a Vit D restriction (0 IU/kg) for 10 weeks. The morphology, thickness and expression of cartilage-associated molecules such as collagen type II/X, lubricin and Vit D receptor (VDR), were assessed. Histological, histomorphometric and immunohistochemical evaluations were made on rat tibial cartilage samples. In the present experimental model, restriction of Vit D intake induced: The lower thickness of cartilage compared both to R (p = < 0.0001) and R-DS (p = < 0.0001); reduction of proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix (ECM) compared both to R (p = 0.0359) and R-DS (p = < 0.0001); decreased collagen II (Col II) with respect both to R (p = 0.0076) and R-DS (p = 0.0016); increased collagen X (Col X) immunoexpression when compared both to R (p = < 0.0001) and R-DS (p = < 0.0001), confirming data from the literature. Instead, supplementation of Vit D intake induced: Higher cartilage thickness with respect both to R (p = 0.0071) and R-DR (p = < 0.0001); increase of ECM proteoglycan deposition compared both to R (p = 0.0175) and R-DR (p = < 0.0001); higher immunoexpression of lubricin with respect both to R (p = 0.001) and R-DR (p = 0.0008). These results suggest that Vit D supplementation with diet, already after 10 weeks, has a favorable impact on the articular cartilage thickness development, joint lubrication and ECM fibers deposition in a young healthy rat model. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D; diet; functional food; articular cartilage; morphology; immunohistochemistry vitamin D; diet; functional food; articular cartilage; morphology; immunohistochemistry
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Szychlinska, M.A.; Imbesi, R.; Castrogiovanni, P.; Guglielmino, C.; Ravalli, S.; Di Rosa, M.; Musumeci, G. Assessment of Vitamin D Supplementation on Articular Cartilage Morphology in a Young Healthy Sedentary Rat Model. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1260.

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