Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




To examine the effects of an oral supplement of soya bean meal on the histomorphometric alteration of tibia cartilage and the serum levels of calcium and alkaline phosphatase in 3-week-old female mice using a computer-assisted histomorphometric method. Materials and methods: Forty immature BALB/c female mice were selected and divided into 4 groups. They were fed for 3 months with 4 different regimens: a low-protein regimen without soya bean meal, 23% protein without soya bean meal, 20% of the total protein being provided by soya bean meal, and 40% of the total protein being provided by soya bean meal. After 3 months, alkaline phosphatase and calcium determinations were performed. Using computer-assisted histomorphometric analysis, sections of the tibial plateaus were photographed. In order to measure the thickness and to count the number of chondrocytes in the middle part of the cartilage, haematoxylin and eosin stain was used. To measure the intensity of the articular cartilage, toluidine blue was also used. Results: There were significant increases in the thickness of the cartilage, the number of chondrocytes in the serum calcium, and alkaline phosphatase activity in both soya bean-treated groups in comparison with the other groups. The concentration of the extracellular matrix in the groups with soya bean meal regimens was greater than that in the groups without soya bean meal regimens. Conclusion: The present study suggests that a soya bean meal supplement can stimulate alkaline phosphatase production and increase the serum calcium, the number of chondrocytes, and the thickness of the cartilage in the middle part of the tibial plateau, in particular if started in childhood. Therefore, it is important to emphasise the effectiveness of a soya bean meal supplement to protect the joints.


Soya bean meal, articular cartilage, histomorphometric, biochemical, mice

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