Expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor on Chondrocytes Increases with Osteoarthritis - An Animal Experimental Investigation

C.O Tibesku*, 1, K Daniilidis2, A Skwara3, J Paletta3, T Szuwart4, S Fuchs-Winkelmann3
1 Sporthopaedicum Straubing, Germany
2 Department of General Orthopaedics and Tumororthopaedics, University Hospital Münster, Germany
3 Department of Orthopaedics and Rheumatology, University Hospital Marburg, Germany
4 Clinic for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Biomineralisation Working Group, University Hospital Münster, Germany

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© Tibesku et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Sporthopaedicum Straubing, Bahnhofplatz 8, D-94315 Straubing, Germany; Tel: +49 – 9421 – 9957 0; Fax: +49 – 9421 – 9957 399; E-mail:



To evaluate the expression of VEGF by chondrocytes of hyaline cartilage during the course of osteoarthritis (OA).


In 12 white New Zealand rabbits the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was resected to create an anterior instability of the knee. In 12 control rabbits only a sham operation without resection of the ACL was done. Four animals of each group were killed at 3, 6, and 12 weeks. The load bearing area was evaluated histologically according to Mankin and by immunostaining for VEGF.


In the experimental group, histological grades of OA showed a positive linear correlation with the time after surgery. Immunostaining showed an increased expression of VEGF in the control group after 3 weeks, which dropped to normal after 6 weeks. There was no difference in the progression of OA between control and experimental groups after 3 weeks, but a significant difference was seen after 6 (p=0,01) and 12 (p=0,05) weeks. A significant positive correlation between VEGF expression and the histological grade of OA was found (r = 0.767; p<0.01).


An increase of VEGF expressing chondrocytes occurs during time course of OA.

Keywords: VEGF, animal experiments, osteoarthritis.