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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 50-B, Issue 1 | Pages 198 - 215
1 Feb 1968
Urist MR Adams T

1. Isografts of articular cartilage of young rats, with mucoproteins labelled with 35S, extracellular fibrous proteins labelled with 3H-glycine, and nuclei labelled with 3H-thymidine, were transplanted into the anterior chamber of the eye.

2. Thin split-thickness transplants of the cells of the gliding surface of immature articular cartilage induced the formation of fibrous tissue.

3. Thick transplants and subsurface slices of immature articular cartilage, containing germinal cells of the epiphysial cartilage, induced the formation of new bone consistently within 4 weeks.

4. Full-thickness transplants in articular cartilage from senile rats induced only the formation of fibrous tissue.

5. Slices of growing cartilage, devitalised by cryolysis, or extraction of acid-soluble proteins, produced scanty deposits of bone or cartilage, or both, but only infrequently and generally after a lag phase extending from six to twelve weeks.

6. Reduction in the amount of mucoprotein in the cartilage matrix by papain, and suppression of the resynthesis of tissue proteins by cortisone, retarded but did not prevent bone induction.

7. Bone induction is the product of a series of interactions between inducing cells and responding cells by intracellular and intercellular reactions too complex to characterise in physico-chemical terms at this time.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 47-B, Issue 2 | Pages 304 - 318
1 May 1965
Urist MR Wallace TH Adams T

1. Autografts, isografts and homografts of fibrocartilaginous callus were observed in the anterior chamber of the eye in rats. Proliferation of cartilage ceased, endochondral ossification followed, and the end-product was a new and complete ossicle with a cortex and a marrow cavity. The size and shape of the ossicle was determined by the size and shape of the sample of callus. Thus the callus in the eye performed the function of a cartilage model like that of the developing epiphysis or a healing fracture of a long bone.

2. Fibrocartilaginous callus, heavily labelled with 3H-thymidine, was transplanted to the eye twenty-four hours after the last injection, when there was little if any radioactive thymidine circulating in the blood. A few small chondrocytes with labelled nuclei persisted in the cores of new bone trabeculae, but the largest part of the labelled callus was resorbed and replaced by unlabelled new bone.

3. Homografts of labelled callus produced the same results as autografts at twenty-five days, but between twenty-five and forty-five days the donor cells were destroyed by the immune response of the host.

4. Isogenous transplants in host rats treated with 3H-thymidine between nine and thirteen days, when the callus was invaded by new blood vessels, produced many osteogenetic cells with labelled nuclei and made it possible to trace the origin of the new bone. The label appeared in the progenitor cells within twenty-four hours. While remaining thereafter in progenitor cells, it appeared also in osteoclasts (or chondroclasts) and osteoblasts in forty-eight to seventy-two hours, and in osteocytes in ninety-six to 120 hours. Chondrocytes did not proliferate and were not labelled in the eye.

5. Homogenous transplants in host rats treated with 3H-thymidine between five and one days before the operation also produced new bone, but contained no labelled osteoprogenitor or bone cells after twenty-five days in the eye. At forty-five days the donor tissue had been destroyed by the immune response of the host.

6. Devitalised callus was encapsulated in inflammatory connective tissue and scar. When the dead callus was absorbed by the capillaries of the host new bone formation by induction produced a scanty deposit as a delayed event in a few instances.

7. Irrespective of whether it originated in the donor or the host, a connective-tissue cell type that proliferated rapidly and became labelled with 3H-thymidine was identified as a progenitor cell. Differentiation and specialisation as osteoprogenitor cells occurred after the growth of blood vessels into the interior of the callus, and developed inside of excavation chambers in cartilage. Except that the interaction of the donor tissue and host cells leading to new bone formation by induction takes place in the interior of the excavation chamber, the biophysico-chemical mechanism is unknown.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 44-B, Issue 3 | Pages 464 - 484
1 Aug 1962
Urist MR Zaccalini PS MacDonald NS Skoog WA

1. Individuals who are normal and not osteoporotic seem to show retention of cortical bone at successive decades of life in proportion to the total lean body-mass. In patients with osteoporosis the weight of the skeleton decreases at a rate exceeding the physiological rate of atrophy of muscle, tendon and bone tissue that occurs with the time-dependent process of ageing.

2. Six patients representing the typical forms of osteoporosis commonly found in orthopaedic practice were investigated intensively over a period of three years and compared with individuals in whom there was no osteoporosis by studies of metabolic balance, Sr85 osteograms, and tetracycline deposition.

3. Studies of metabolic balance in patients with osteoporosis showed normal or negative calcium balances, but an equilibrium for the metabolism of nitrogen and phosphorus. Increased intake of calcium in the diet produced retention of calcium but not sufficient phosphorus, nitrogen or gain in weight to prove that the patient had made new bone and healed the osteoporosis.

4. Radio-isotope osteograms showed high, normal or low rates of change of uptake of Sr85 and the accretion rate was calculated to be normal or low in individuals with osteoporosis. High uptake of tetracycline by a small mass of bone tissue and by a relatively small percentage of the total number of osteons suggested that in an adult human being the calcium reserve in the skeleton is enormous. Thirty to 50 per cent of the total bone mass was sufficient to turn over 0·5 to 1·0 gramme, the amount of calcium utilised in twenty-four hours by the human adult. This was accomplished by structural or old bone throughout the entire skeleton, and by labile or newer bone located in approximately 10 per cent of the total number of Haversian cylinders or osteons.

5. Some of the unclosed or half-closed osteons were hyperactive in osteoporotic bones. In the process of remodelling of cortical bone a significant quantity of bone tissue was incompletely restored and there were, presumably as a result, intermittently large or small negative calcium balances. Osteoporosis may have been the cause, rather than the result, of the negative calcium balance.

6. The experimental and clinical literature of the past ten years, and studies on patients described in this critical review, were interpreted to indicate that prolonged calcium deficiency, castration, hyperadrenal corticoidism or a sedentary life may precipitate, accentuate and accelerate osteoporosis in individuals who are genetically predisposed to develop it. Sometimes high calcium intake or sex hormones, or both, may have slowed the rate of resorption but did not replace the deficit in cortical bone.

7. Further research is necessary to find the chief etiological factor and to produce the cure for this increasingly common disorder of the skeleton.