Trabecular and subchondral bone development of the talus and distal tibia from foal to adult in the warmblood horse

B.M.C. Gorissen, C.F. Wolschrijn, B. van Rietbergen, L. Rieppo, S. Saarakkala, P.R. van Weeren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Horses are precocial animals and able to stand and walk within hours after birth. To cope with associated loading, intrauterine bone development has shown to be anticipative. This study provides further insight into the post-natal development of structurally important features of trabecular and subchondral bone of the talus and sagittal ridge of the tibia of warm-blooded horses. In all areas studied, the average bone volume fraction showed a gradual increase over time, which was the result of a significant increase in trabecular thickness, without significant changes in the degree of anisotropy. Similar to the mineralised part of the bone, collagen content, measured as average retardation using polarised light microscopy, increased significantly, but the degree of anisotropy of the collagen type I network did not. At birth, the subchondral bone layer had a more trabecular aspect, gradually changing to an even surface with only a few vascular canals at an age of 2 months. Presented results indicate the necessity for a stronger structure, but not for a different structural design after birth, providing further evidence for anticipatory bone development in the horse. More knowledge about the strategies used to cope with mechanical loading after birth might be helpful in understanding the developmental bone and joint diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-215
Number of pages10
JournalAnatomia, histologia, embryologia
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Journal Article
  • horse
  • collagen type I
  • Wolff's law
  • bone development
  • micro-CT
  • polarised light microscopy
  • Tibia/growth & development
  • Horses/anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Aging
  • Talus/growth & development
  • Bone Development/physiology


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