Effect of diet on longitudinal bone growth and osteochondrosis in swine

Vet Pathol. 1987 Mar;24(2):109-17. doi: 10.1177/030098588702400202.


Weanling gilts were fed either a 12% or 16% protein diet for 10 weeks. Animals fed the 12% protein diet had reduced body weights and reduced longitudinal bone growth as measured in the distal radial growth plate. There was no difference in the growth plate widths between the two animal groups, but there was a significant reduction in the daily rate of cell production in the proliferative zone of animals fed the 12% protein diet. No effect of diet on the rate of expansion of the epiphysis at the articular-epiphyseal junction of the distal femur or humerus could be detected. All animals in both groups had morphologic cartilage lesions consistent with early changes associated with osteochondrosis (OCD), and there was no difference in the lesion morphology between the dietary groups. Areas of disorderly endochondral ossification in the radial growth plate were associated with perpendicular growth cartilage infractions. Growth plate lesions were characterized by increased widths of the maturing cartilage zone without increased width of the proliferative zone or an increase in the daily rate of cell production. Focal growth plate lesions developed because of a transitory inhibition of cartilage mineralization and resorption. Disorderly foci of endochondral ossification beneath articular cartilage were characterized by an area of chondrocyte necrosis which prevented normal cartilage matrix mineralization. Lamellae of cartilage necrosis were also present within the reserve zone of the articular cartilage. These were associated with abnormalities of the cartilage canal vessels, and chondrocyte necrosis was considered to precede degenerative changes in articular cartilage matrix.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Development*
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Growth Plate / pathology
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Osteochondritis / etiology
  • Osteochondritis / pathology
  • Osteochondritis / veterinary*
  • Swine / growth & development*
  • Swine Diseases / etiology
  • Swine Diseases / pathology*


  • Dietary Proteins