DL-penicillamine induced alteration of elastic fibers of periosteum-perichondrium and associated growth inhibition: an experimental study

J Orthop Res. 2001 May;19(3):398-404. doi: 10.1016/S0736-0266(00)90033-0.


Perichondrium-periosteum, being of collagen and elastic fiber, is regarded as a bone growth regulating factor. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of collagen and elastic fibers on bone growth, by interfering with the fiber assembly in growing chicks upon administration of DL-penicillamine (DL-PNA). Our findings demonstrated that DL-PNA determined relevant modifications in the perichondrium-periosteum, as shown by histochemical, histomorphometrical,biochemical and ultrastructural analysis. This chemical has been shown to inhibit the formation of desmosine cross-links in elastin and to induce an increase of elastin associated microfibrils. On the contrary, the collagen network and the biochemical collagen markers were not affected. These changes resulted in a dramatically reduced growth of long bones in comparison with control. Perichondrial-periosteal regulation of bone growth may be mediated by mechanical and biological factors. This study demonstrates a microstructural change in the perichondrium-periosteum with decreased elastin and increased elastic microfibrils content in penicillamine treated chicks. The mechanism linking changes in the perichondrium-periosteum with altered growth still needs to be elucidated.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antirheumatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Aorta, Thoracic / drug effects
  • Aorta, Thoracic / ultrastructure
  • Chelating Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Chickens
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Collagen / drug effects
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Collagen / ultrastructure
  • Desmosine / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Elastic Tissue / drug effects*
  • Elastic Tissue / metabolism
  • Elastic Tissue / pathology
  • Hydroxylysine / metabolism
  • Hydroxyproline / metabolism
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Isodesmosine / metabolism
  • Penicillamine / administration & dosage*
  • Periosteum / drug effects*
  • Periosteum / growth & development
  • Periosteum / metabolism
  • Periosteum / pathology
  • Tibia / drug effects
  • Tibia / growth & development


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Chelating Agents
  • Desmosine
  • Hydroxylysine
  • Collagen
  • Isodesmosine
  • Penicillamine
  • Hydroxyproline