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Vanadate ingestion enhances the organization and collagen fibril diameters of rat healing medical collateral ligaments


Although an injured medial collateral ligament (MCL) will naturally heal, the quality of healing tissue is inferior to the uninjured MCL tissue. Previous studies have shown promising results of sodium orthovanadate (vanadate) in enhancing the quality of rat skin wounds. This study therefore investigated whether vanadate enhances the quality of the rat healing MCL in terms of the collagen fibril organization and diameter. Six mature male Sprague–Dawley rats, with weight ranges of 475–505 g and ages of 25 weeks, were used in this study. Three rats in the experimental group received vanadate (0.2 mg/ml) in their saline drinking water (150 mM NaCl), whereas three rats in the control group were only given saline water. Three weeks after transection, the rat MCLs were harvested for hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and transmission electron microscopy. It was found that vanadate promoted organization of collagen fibrils and significantly increased the diameters of collagen fibrils by 14% in healing MCL (P<0.001). These results indicate that application of vanadate may be a promising tissue engineering approach to enhance the quality of healing tissues such as injured MCLs.

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This study was supported in part by NIH grant AR049921, Arthritis Investigator Award, and Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Grant (JHW). We also thank Ms. Kimberly Furher and Ms. Ardith Ries for technical assistance in histology and electron microscopy.

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Correspondence to James H-C. Wang.

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Chen, J., Iosifidis, M., Zhu, J. et al. Vanadate ingestion enhances the organization and collagen fibril diameters of rat healing medical collateral ligaments. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthr 14, 750 (2006).

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  • Orthovanadate
  • MCL
  • Organization
  • Collagen fibrils