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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Morphologic and biochemical changes in articular cartilages of immature beagle dogs dosed with difloxacin.

Quinolones are efficacious antibacterial compounds, but they have been associated with arthralgia in human patients; experimentally, they have caused lesions in articular cartilages of immature animals. The earliest morphologic and biochemical changes induced in articular-epiphyseal cartilage complexes by difloxacin, a fluoroquinolone, were investigated in 27 3-month-old Beagle dogs that were dosed orally with the drug at 300 mg/kg body weight per day. Paraffin-embedded sections of humeral and femoral heads that were stained with either hematoxylin and eosin or toluidine blue and fast green were evaluated histologically, and lesions were scored according to established criteria. Although morphologic changes were not observed in cartilages of the control dogs or of the treated dogs in the 24-hr group, the severity of lesions, as represented by mean scores for lesions, increased during the 36-48 hr after dosing. The initial morphologic change, observed in cartilages from the treated dogs of the 36- and the 48-hr groups, was necrosis of chondrocytes that was rapidly followed by disruption of extracellular matrix and formation of fissures. Although glycosaminoglycan was aggregated along the margins of fissures, its concentration was not reduced in cartilages of any group of treated dogs. Collagen, however, was depleted from the cartilages of the dogs that were euthanized 36 or 48 hr after the first dose of difloxacin. Because degenerative changes were observed ultrastructurally in chondrocytes by 24 hr in a previous study, it was concluded that collagen was lost from affected cartilages as an early sequel to the degeneration of chondrocytes.[1]


  1. Morphologic and biochemical changes in articular cartilages of immature beagle dogs dosed with difloxacin. Burkhardt, J.E., Hill, M.A., Carlton, W.W. Toxicologic pathology. (1992) [Pubmed]
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