Postnatal administration of 2-oxoglutaric acid improves articular and growth plate cartilages and bone tissue morphology in pigs prenatally treated with dexamethasone

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2012 Oct;63(5):547-54.


The potential effects of prenatal administration of dexamethasone (DEX) and postnatal treatment with 2-oxoglutaric acid (2-Ox) on postnatal development of connective tissue of farm animals were not examined experimentally. The aim of this study was to establish changes in morphological parameters of bone and articular and growth plate cartilages damaged by the prenatal action of DEX in piglets supplemented with 2-Ox. The 3 mg of DEX was administered by intramuscular route every second day from day 70 of pregnancy to parturition and then piglets were supplemented with 2-Ox during 35 days of postnatal life (0.4 g/kg body weight). The mechanical properties, BMD and BMC of bones, and histomorphometry of articular and growth plate cartilages were determined. Maternal treatment with DEX decreased the weight by 48%, BMD by 50% and BMC by 61% of the tibia in male piglets while such action of DEX in female piglets was not observed. DEX led to thinning of articular and growth plate cartilages and trabeculae thickness and reduced the serum GH concentration in male piglets. The administration of 2-Ox prevented the reduction of trabeculae thickness, the width of articular and growth plate cartilages in male piglets connected with higher growth hormone concentration compared with non-supplemented male piglets. The result showed that the presence of 2-Ox in the diet had a positive effect on the development of connective tissue in pigs during suckling and induced a complete recovery from bone and cartilage damage caused by prenatal DEX action.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Development / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Cartilage / drug effects*
  • Cartilage / growth & development
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Ketoglutaric Acids / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Pregnancy
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Swine


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Ketoglutaric Acids
  • Protective Agents
  • Dexamethasone