Effect of Enrofloxacin on Histochemistry, Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Changes in Lamb Articular Cartilage

  • Kaveh Khazaeel Mail Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran.
  • Yazdan Mazaheri Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran.
  • Mahmood Hashemi Tabar Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Jundi-Shapour University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.
  • Hossein Najafzadeh Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran.
  • Hassan Morovvati Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.
  • Alireza Ghadrdan Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran.
Enrofloxacin, Lamb, Articular cartilage, Immunohistochemistry, Sox 9


Enrofloxacin is a synthetic chemotherapeutic agent from the class of the fluoroquinolones that is widely used to treat bacterial infections. It is metabolized to ciprofloxacin in the body as active metabolite. Fluoroquinolones change in the articular cartilage, especially with high doses and more than two weeks use. So, due to relatively excessive use of enrofloxacin in mammals and similarity of lambs to human subjects with respect to skeletal activity cycles, this study was done to investigate the effects of enrofloxacin on some cellular and molecular changes in growing lamb articular cartilage to evaluate some possible mechanisms involved these changes. Twelve, 2-month-old male lambs divided into three groups: control group received only normal saline; therapeutic group received 5mg/kg enrofloxacin subcutaneously, daily, for 15 days and toxic group received 35 mg/kg enrofloxacin in the same manner as therapeutic group. Twenty four hours after the last dose, the animals were sacrificed, and their stifle joints were dissected. Sampling from distal femoral and proximal tibial extremities was done quickly for further histological and molecular studies. Collagen-п content was studied with avidin-biotin immunohistochemistry method in different groups. Expression of Sox9 and caspase-3 was evaluated by Real–time PCR. Immunohistochemical changes were included decreases of matrix proteoglycans, carbohydrates, and Collagen-п in the toxic group. Some of these changes were observed in the therapeutic group with less intensity in comparison to the toxic group. Enrofloxacin were significantly decreased (P≤0.05). Sox9 expression in therapeutic and toxic groups compared to control group. But caspase -3 expressions in the toxic group significantly increased (P≤0.0001) with a comparison to other groups, while, between control and therapeutic groups, there were no significant differences. So, it can be concluded that enrofloxacin increases apoptosis in chondrocytes and decreases their numbers. Enrofloxacin use in growing lambs even at recommended therapeutic dose is not completely safe on articular cartilage. Moreover, higher doses of enrofloxacin induce severe changes in lamb articular cartilage.


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How to Cite
Khazaeel K, Mazaheri Y, Hashemi Tabar M, Najafzadeh H, Morovvati H, Ghadrdan A. Effect of Enrofloxacin on Histochemistry, Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Changes in Lamb Articular Cartilage. Acta Med Iran. 53(9):555-561.
Original Article(s)