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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 86-B, Issue 7 | Pages 1082 - 1087
1 Sep 2004
Becker R Pufe T Kulow S Giessmann N Neumann W Mentlein R Petersen W

Our aim was to investigate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression after lacerations of a meniscus in a rabbit model. Specimens of meniscus were examined using immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunoassay and the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction after one, two, five or ten weeks. In the periphery of the meniscus 90% of the lacerations had healed after five and ten weeks, but no healing was observed in the avascular area. Expression of VEGF protein and VEGF mRNA was found in the meniscus of both the operated and the contralateral sites but both were absent in control rabbits which had not undergone operation. The highest expression of VEGF was found in the avascular area after one week (p < 0.001). It then lessened at both the vascular and avascular areas, but still remained greater in comparison with the control meniscus (p < 0.05). Despite greater expression of VEGF, angiogenesis failed at the inner portion. These findings demonstrated the poor healing response in the avascular area which may not be caused by an intrinsic cellular insufficiency to stimulate angiogenesis.