Ultrastructural characterization of the rabbit mandibular condyle following experimental induction of anterior disk displacement

Mohamed M.H. Sharawy, Ayman M. Ali, Won Seok Choi, Vera Larke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that surgical induction of anterior disk displacement (ADD) in the rabbit craniomandibular joint (CMJ) leads to cellular and extracellular alterations consistent with osteoarthritis. Similar findings were also reported in human ADD as well as osteoarthritis of other joints. The purpose of this study was to further characterize these histopathological findings at the ultrastructural level. The right joint of 15 rabbits was exposed surgically and all discal attachments were severed except for the posterior attachment. The disk was then repositioned anteriorly and sutured to the zygomatic arch. The left joint served as a sham-operated control. Ten additional joints were used as nonoperated controls. Mandibular condyles were excised 2 weeks following surgery and processed for transmission electron microscopy. Experimental condyles showed neovascularization, fibrillation and vacuolation of the extracellular matrix and an increase in the number of apoptotic cells compared to controls. In addition, chondrocytes in osteoarthritic cartilage showed an increase in the amounts of rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex suggesting an increase in protein synthesis. The presence of thick collagen fibers in osteoarthritic cartilage supports our previous immunohistochemical results of the presence of type I collagen instead of normally existing type II collagen. It was concluded that surgical induction of ADD in the rabbit CMJ leads to ultrastructural changes in the mandibular condylar cartilage consistent with degenerative alterations known to occur in osteoarthritis. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalCells Tissues Organs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Anterior disk displacement
  • Mandibular condyle
  • Rabbit
  • Temporomandibular joint
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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