Quantitation of the changes in vascularity during arthritis in the knee joint of a mouse with a digital image analysis system.
SourceThe Anatomical Record. Part A, Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular and Evolutionary Biology, 262, 4, (2001), pp. 420--8
Article / Letter to editor
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The Anatomical Record. Part A, Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular and Evolutionary Biology
SubjectChronic arthritis: Pathogenesis and treatment; Experimental radiotherapy and neuro-oncology.; Mechano-biology of musculoskeletal tissues; Chronische arthritis: Pathogenese en behandeling; Experimentele radiotherapie en neuro-oncologie.; Mechano-biologie van bindweefsels i.r.t. orthopaedische reconstructies
Many joint and bone diseases are caused by, or associated with vascular changes. Particularly in rheumatoid arthritis, vascular sprouting of synovial vessels plays a major role in the generation of joint pathology. To assess the effects of pharmaceuticals that are designed to inhibit neovascularization, we developed a quantitative procedure to measure vascular changes in cross-sections of the mouse knee joint during arthritic inflammation. Arthritis was induced in the knee joint of C57Black6 mice by a single subpatellar injection of methylated BSA after previous immunization. Total vascularity was visualized with a specific monoclonal rat anti-mouse antibody (9F1). Functional vessels were detected with the fluorescent perfusion marker Hoechst 33342. The localization of Hoechst and the vascular marker 9F1 were analyzed in separate images with an automated digital image processing system. By combining the two images, total vascularity and the perfusion status of the vessels during arthritis could be established. The digital image system measures synovial area (SA), number of all blood vessels (NBV) and the number of perfused blood vessels (NpBV). From these parameters the percentage of perfused vessels (perfusion fraction; PF), the vessel density (VD = NBV/SA) and the density of perfused vessels (VDp = NpBV/SA) can be calculated. The measurements showed that the area of synovial tissue had increased during arthritis. Moreover, both the number of blood vessels (NBV) and the number of perfused vessels (NpBV) in the synovial area had increased significantly on Days 4 and 7 after arthritis induction. This procedure enabled quantitation of total vascularity and of functional blood vessels in cross-sections of synovial tissue. It is expected to be a powerful tool, not only to analyze the effects of anti-angiogenic therapies in animal models of arthritis, but could also be applicable to study vascular and perfusion changes in vascular related diseases of the skeleton.
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