Objective—To assess effects of zoledronic acid on biomarkers, radiographic scores, and gross articular cartilage changes in dogs with induced osteoarthritis.
Animals—21 purpose-bred hound-type dogs.
Procedures—The left stifle joint of each dog was examined arthroscopically to determine initial articular cartilage status, which was followed by cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) transection to induce osteoarthritis. Dogs were assigned to 3 groups (control group, low dose [10 μg of zoledronic acid/kg], or high dose [25 μg of zoledronic acid/kg). Treatments were administered SC every 3 months for 1 year beginning the day after CrCL transection. Serum and synovial fluid samples and radiographs were obtained 0, 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after transection. At 12 months, each joint was scored for cartilage defects. Serum and synovial fluid biomarkers of bone and cartilage turnover (bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, type I and II collagen, carboxy-propeptide of type II collagen, and chondroitin sulfate 846) were analyzed with ELISAs.
Results—The high-dose group had fewer total articular defects and lower severity scores in CrCL-transected stifle joints than did the control group. In addition, the high-dose group had significantly less change in collagenase cleavage of type I or II collagen in the synovial fluid at 1 and 3 months after CrCL transection than did the control group and also had greater changes in bone-specific alkaline phosphatase in synovial fluid at 3 months after CrCL transection than did the control group.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Zoledronic acid had a chondroprotective effect in dogs with a transected CrCL.