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Title: Avian articular cartilage : effects of age, genotype and disease
Author: Anderson-MacKenzie, Janet Melanie
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
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The degradation of articular cartilage, causing degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a documented cause of lameness in broiler strain fowl, which is a major welfare problem. Broiler strain fowl are both heavier and more susceptible to DJD than laying strain fowl. In this thesis the biochemical and morphological basis for this susceptibility has been investigated, particular attention has been paid to the effects of body weight and genotype on avian articular cartilage. Articular cartilage from three distinct sites was analysed. Samples from mature broiler strain females, susceptible to DJD, had higher hydration and uronic acid content than age matched, non-susceptible, laying strain fowl. In addition to these biochemical features (also seen in mammalian DJD), broiler strain fowl exhibited DJD histopathology including cartilage thinning and chondrocyte cluster formation. In general, both strains at one day old showed no significant biochemical differences between the articular cartilage sites sampled. However the cartilage from the broiler strain distal tibiotarsus (DTT) at one day old appeared to be biochemically and morphologically distinct from the cartilage of the layer strain DTT and from the other broiler strain joint surface of the same age. Production of an infectious arthritis by inoculation of mycoplasma into the tibiotarsal joint of broiler strain fowl resulted in variable biochemistry of articular cartilage form this joint. However, in the non-injected, contralateral joint, sampled from the DTT, there was an increase in hydration and uronic acid content which is dependent upon the degree of lameness. This indicates the importance of in vivo loading in the biochemical composition of avian articular cartilage. Broiler strain birds fed ad libitum, feed restricted and J-line (wild type) were surveyed over the course of one year. Only the ad libitum fed birds developed overt DJD, which suggests that the mass of bird, and not an overriding genetic element, is the major cause of the susceptibility of broiler strain fowl to DJD. The joint surface which presented the first and most severe signs indicative of early cartilage degeneration was the DTT. The biochemical results obtained from articular cartilage samples of the three groups include hydration, uronic acid, DNA and hydroxyproline content.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available