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

Changes in the tibial growth plates of chickens with thiram-induced dyschondroplasia.

Tibial dyschondroplasia (TD) is a metabolic cartilage disease of young poultry in which endochondral bone formation is disrupted leading to the retention of a non-calcified, avascular plug of cartilage in the tibial growth plate. Chicks aged 7 days were fed either a control diet or one containing thiram 100 ppm for 48 h to induce TD. Cell multiplication in the growth plate was determined thereafter with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labelling, and metabolic changes by measuring alkaline phosphatase (ALP), tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), and glutathione (GSH) activities. The effect on chondrocyte maturation was examined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of gene expression. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) and DNA fragmentation were used to determine the effects of thiram on cell survival. The results showed that thiram-induced TD was not due to the multiplication of cells in the post-proliferative zones. Thiram did not affect ALP activity, which would have indicated a loss of calcification potential, but it reduced both TRAP and the glutathione concentrations, suggesting that the growth plate metabolism and remodelling functions were adversely affected. Thiram appeared to have no effect on the expression of type X collagen, transglutaminase, RUNX2, or matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP) genes suggesting that it did not alter the maturation potential of chondrocytes. On the contrary, the expressions of MMP-13 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) genes were "up-regulated," suggesting that thiram has pro-angiogenic activity. However, TUNEL assay showed that thiram induced endothelial cell apoptosis in the capillary vessels of the growth plates, as early as 10 days of age, when TD was not visually evident. The vascular death increased on subsequent days accompanied by massive death of chondrocytes in the transition zone of the growth plate. The induction of apoptosis in the growth plate was also demonstrated by DNA fragmentation. It was concluded that thiram induced TD not through an increase in the multiplication of chondrocytes in the transition zone and not by altering the expression of genes causing the arrest of chondrocytes in a prehypertrophic state, but by creating a metabolic dysfunction which led to the destruction of blood capillaries in the transition zone chondrocytes.[1]


  1. Changes in the tibial growth plates of chickens with thiram-induced dyschondroplasia. Rath, N.C., Richards, M.P., Huff, W.E., Huff, G.R., Balog, J.M. J. Comp. Pathol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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