Enzymes of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family regulate angiogenesis and are involved in the endochondral ossification process. Tibial dyschondroplasia (TD) and rickets are 2 disorders associated with impairments in this process, mainly in the vascularization of the avian growth plate. In this paper, we induced TD and rickets and studied the expression patterns of 4 members of the MMP family known to be important for endochondral ossification, MMP-2, 3, 9, and 13, in normal and impaired avian growth plates. The expression of MMP-3, 9, and 13 was reduced in the lesions and lined up parallel to the expulsion of blood vessels, which was extended up to the border of the lesion, but did not penetrate into it. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 was not expressed in the TD lesion but was overexpressed in the rachitic lesion. We also studied the differentiation stage of the chondrocytes populating the lesions and found that the rachitic lesions were populated with proliferative chondrocytes, whereas the TD lesions were filled with chondrocytes that presented both proliferative and hypertrophic markers. These results suggest that MMP-3, 9, and 13 play a role in the vascularization and ossification processes, whereas MMP-2 is related to chondrocyte differentiation and may be involved in cartilage remodeling in the avian growth plate.
- Tibial dyschondroplasia