The repeated administration of dextran sulphate to young rats leads to a disorder of endochondral ossification which is characterized by a reduced amount of bone-matrix (osteoporosis) in the metaphyses of long bones. The epiphyseal-cartilage plate and the articular cartilage are unaffected.
Tritium and S35-labeled dextran sulphates were prepared and administered to suckling rats in a single intraperitoneal dose. Radioactivity was detected autoradiographically from one-half to 192 hours thereafter in fibrous connective tissues, in bone at sites of matrix deposition, and in macrophages. In the metaphyses, whether the label was S35 or H3 the radioactivity was initially localized just underneath the epiphyseal plate; with time the band of radioactivity was displaced toward the medullary cavity.
In young rats approximately one-third of the administered dextran sulphate was excreted in the urine within six hours. Thereafter, up to forty-eight hours, only an additional 4 to 8 per cent of the radioactivity was excreted.
Copyright 1965 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated