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Bones, muscles and Vitamin C. I. The effect of a partial deficiency of vitamin C on the repair of bone and muscle in guinea-pigs. II. Partial deficiencies of Vitamin C and mid-diaphyseal thickenings of the tibia and fibula in guinea-pigs. III. Repair of the effects of total deprivation of vitamin C at the proximal ends of the tibia and fibula in guinea-pigs



Bones, muscles and Vitamin C. I. The effect of a partial deficiency of vitamin C on the repair of bone and muscle in guinea-pigs. II. Partial deficiencies of Vitamin C and mid-diaphyseal thickenings of the tibia and fibula in guinea-pigs. III. Repair of the effects of total deprivation of vitamin C at the proximal ends of the tibia and fibula in guinea-pigs



Jour Anat 83(2/3-4): 158-174, 205-223, 285-295



Young guinea-pigs were kept for periods ranging up to more than 3 months on partially vit. C-deficient diets. In some, one fibula was fractured before or after starting the deficient diets. [long dash]I. In the partially deficient animals the amt. of callus formed at the fractures was at first less than in die.tetically normal animals. In dietetically normal animals it was later consolidated into compact bone, but in the partially deficient animals it retained a light trabecular structure though it might become extremely extensive. In partially deficient animals large parts of the limb musculature often degenerated and were replaced by hyperplastic connective tissue. This occurred especially, but not exclusively, in operated legs. Muscles of partially de-ficient animals were more liable to injury, and less able to regenerate, than those of dietetically normal animals; this may be an indirect effect of the deficiency, caused immediately by the impaired vascular supply.[long dash]II. In the legs of partially deficient animals, especially but not exclusively in operated legs, the diaphyses of the tibia and fibula were frequently enormously thickened by the formation of new bone beneath the periosteum; this also occurred in the operated legs of dietetically normal animals, but in them the thickenings were much smaller. The new bone was trabecular in structure, not compact like the old bone of the diaphysis, and developed in the widened periosteal cambium which formed when the fibrous layer of the periosteum had been separated from the bone. Osteoblasts scattered through this tissue formed trabecular bone; if held close against the old bone by a closely attached fibrous layer of the periosteum, they formed lamellae of compact bone. In the large thickenings in many partially vit. C-deficient animals, the new trabeculae radiated from the old bone to the periosteum; this architecture was determined by a radial arrangement of pre-existing collagen fibers; and the orientation of these was determined by tensions set up by oedema beneath the fibrous layer of periosteum. When partially vit. C-deficient animals were again provided with ample vit. C, the new trabecular bone was made compact by deposition on the surfaces of the trabeculae; and the thickenings were reduced by superficial resorption; these changes were complicated by later deposition of new compact bone, both externally and internally.[long dash]III. Guinea-pigs totally deprived of vit. C showed the classic changes and, since the proximal end of the tibial diaphysis was destroyed by micro-fractures, the epiphysis came to overlap the narrow zone of the diaphysis now in contact with it, and the epiphyses acquired a slope which made the animals bow-legged. When such animals were again given the vit., the tibia was restored to a semblance of its normal form by (a) sub-periosteal thickenings increasing the width of the tibial diaphysis to equal the epiphysis, (b) the formation from the periosteum, at the top of the diaphysis, of cartilage which was later replaced by endochondral bone, (c) a trabecular bony callus developed endosteally, (d) a trabecular bone formed at the growth cartilage.

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Bones, muscles and vitamin C; partial deficiencies of vitamin C and mid-diaphyseal thickenings of the tibia and fibula in guinea-pigs. Journal of Anatomy 83(Pt 3): 205-223, 1949

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