Physikalische Medizin, Rehabilitationsmedizin, Kurortmedizin 2011; 21(1): 45-51
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1265146
Science and Research

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Influence of Direct Current on the Cartilaginous Metabolism in vivo

Einfluss von elektrischem Gleichstrom auf den Knorpelmetabolismus in vivoM. I. Korpan1 , I. S. Chekman2 , S. Magomedov3 , O. A. Burjanov4 , V. Fialka-Moser1
  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical University Vienna, General Hospital Vienna, Austria
  • 2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, National Medical University Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 3Department of Traumatology and Orthopaedics, Postgraduate University Hospital, Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 4Department of Traumatology and Orthopaedics, National Medical University Kyiv, Ukraine
Further Information

Publication History

received: 25.03.2010

accepted: 01.09.2010

Publication Date:
22 February 2011 (online)


Purpose: To evaluate the effects of direct current (DC) on the cartilaginous metabolism in an experimental osteoarthritis (OA) animal model.

Materials and Methods: In a randomized, controlled trial, 45 animals were divided into 5 equal groups, each consisting of 9 rabbits. The 1st group was the intact control group and the 2nd group was the OA control group. The rabbits’ injured knee joints were treated with DC of different intensities: 0.01 mA/cm2 (group 3), 0.1 mA/cm2 (group 4), and 0.2 mA/cm2 (group 5). The content of collagen in the cartilage, the collagenase enzyme activity in the blood and the content of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the cartilage tissue and in the blood were evaluated.

Results: An increase of collagen in the cartilage after exposure to a DC intensity of 0.2  mA/cm2 to 6.0±0.5 μg/g (group 5) was found, compared to 4.2±0.3 μg/g (OA control). Collagenase enzyme activity in the blood decreased to 5.1±0.4 μmol/l·h (group 5) in comparison with the OA control (6.8±0.4 μmol/l·h). The GAG content in the cartilage amounted to 8.7±0.7 μg/mg and to 6.4±0.4 μg/mg in group 5 and OA control, accordingly. The GAG content in the blood decreased from 0.066±0.005 g/l (OA control) to 0.051±0.004 g/l under DC influence of 0.2 mA/cm2 (group 5).

Conclusions: DC (0.2 mA/cm2) locally stimulates the metabolic process in the cartilaginous tissue and systemically in the blood after OA in vivo, indicating the therapeutic mechanism of DC.


Fragestellung: Bewertung des Einflusses von elektrischem Gleichstrom auf den Knorpelmetabolismus bei einem Tierexperimentellenmodell für Osteoarthrose.

Methode: Bei einer randomisierten, kontrollierten Studie wurden 45 Tiere in 5 gleiche Gruppen aufgeteilt, wobei jede Gruppe aus 9 Kaninchen bestand. Bei der 1. Gruppe handelte es sich um die intakte Kontrollgruppe und bei der 2. Gruppe um die OA-Kontrollgruppe. Die operativ traumatisierten Kniegelenke der Kaninchen wurden mit Gleichstrom unterschiedlicher Intensitäten behandelt: 0,01 mA/cm2 (Gruppe 3), 0,1 mA/cm2 (Gruppe 4) und 0,2 mA/cm2 (Gruppe 5). Der Inhalt an Kollagen im Knorpel, die Kollagenase-Enzym-Aktivität im Blut und der Inhalt von Glykosaminoglykanen (GAG) sowohl im Knorpelgewebe als auch im Blut wurden untersucht.

Ergebnisse: Nach einer Gleichstrombehandlung von 0,2 mA/cm2 wurde ein Anstieg an Kollagen im Knorpel bis 6,0±0,5 μg/g (Gruppe 5) im Vergleich zu 4,2±0,3 μg/g (OA-Kontrollgruppe) festgestellt. Die Kollagenase-Enzym-Aktivität im Blut sank auf 5,1±0,4 μmol/l·h (Gruppe 5) im Vergleich zu der OA-Kontrollgruppe (6,8±0,4 μmol/l·h). Der GAG-Inhalt im Knorpel belief sich auf 8,7±0,7 μg/mg und auf 6,4±0,4 μg/mg entsprechend bei Gruppe 5 und OA-Kontrollgruppe. Der GAG-Inhalt im Blut sank von 0,066±0,005 g/l (OA-Kontrollgruppe) auf 0,051±0,004 g/l unter Einfluss von Gleichstrom von 0,2 mA/cm2 (Gruppe 5).

Schlussfolgerung: Gleichstrom mit Intensität von 0,2 mA/cm2 stimuliert lokal den Stoffwechselprozess im Knorpelgewebe und führt zu systemischen Veränderungen im Blut nach OA in vivo. Dies deutet auf den therapeutischen Mechanismus von Gleichstrom hin.


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Ass. Prof. Dr. M. I. Korpan

Department of Physical

Medicine and Rehabilitation

General Hospital Vienna

Waehringer Guertel 18–20

1090 Vienna