Effectiveness of rosiglitazone in reducing flexion contracture in a rabbit model of arthrofibrosis with surgical capsular release: A biomechanical, histological, and genetic analysis

J. D. Barlow, M. E. Morrey, R. U. Hartzler, D. Arsoy, S. Riester, Andre J van Wijnen, B. F. Morrey, J. Sanchez-Sotelo, Matthew Abdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Aims: Animal models have been developed that allow simulation of post-traumatic joint contracture. One such model involves contracture-forming surgery followed by surgical capsular release. This model allows testing of antifibrotic agents, such as rosiglitazone. Methods: A total of 20 rabbits underwent contracture-forming surgery. Eight weeks later, the animals underwent a surgical capsular release. Ten animals received rosiglitazone (intramuscular initially, then orally). The animals were sacrificed following 16 weeks of free cage mobilisation. The joints were tested biomechanically, and the posterior capsule was assessed histologically and via genetic microarray analysis. Results: There was no significant difference in post-traumatic contracture between the rosiglitazone and control groups (33° (standard deviation (SD) 11) vs 37° (sd14), respectively; p = 0.4). There was no difference in number or percentage of myofibroblasts. Importantly, there were ten genes and 17 pathways that were significantly modulated by rosiglitazone in the posterior capsule. Discussion: Rosiglitazone significantly altered the genetic expression of the posterior capsular tissue in a rabbit model, with ten genes and 17 pathways demonstrating significant modulation. However, there was no significant effect on biomechanical or histological properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalBone and Joint Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Arthrofibrosis
  • Joint contractures
  • Knee
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Surgical release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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