Document Type : Original Article
Sports Medicine Institute of Fudan University, Department of Sports Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Department of Integrative Medicine and Neurobiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Institutes of Brain Science, Brain Science Collaborative Innovation Centre, State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Fudan Institutes of Integrative Medicine, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
China Shanghai Key Laboratory of Acupuncture Mechanism and Acupoint Function, Shanghai, China
Objective: Blood supply to the meniscus determines its recovery and is a reference for treatment planning. This study
aimed to apply tissue clearing and three-dimensional (3D) imaging in exploring the quantitative distribution of blood
vessels in the mouse meniscus.
Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, tissue clearing was performed to treat the bilateral knee joints of
transgenic mice with fluorescent vascular endothelial cells. Images were acquired using a light sheet microscope and
the vascular endothelial cells in the meniscus was analysed using 3D imaging. Quantitative methods were employed
to further analyse the blood vessel distribution in the mouse meniscus.
Results: The traditional three-equal-width division of the meniscus is as follows: the outer one-third is the red-red zone
(RR), the inner one-third is the white-white zone (WW), and the transition area is the red-white zone (RW). The division
revealed significant signal differences between the RW and WW (P<0.05) zones, but no significant differences between
the RR and RW zones, which indicated that the division might not accurately reflect the blood supply of the meniscus.
According to the modified division (4:2:1) in which significant differences were ensured between the adjacent zones,
we observed that the width ratio of each zone was 38 ± 1% (RR), 24 ± 1% (RW), and 38 ± 2% (WW). Furthermore, the
blood supply to each region was verified. The anterior region had the most abundant blood supply. The fluorescence
count in the anterior region was significantly higher than in the central and posterior regions (P<0.05). The blood supply
of the medial meniscus was superior to the lateral meniscus (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Analysis of the blood supply to the mouse meniscus under tissue clearing and 3D imaging reflect
quantitative blood vessel distribution, which would facilitate future evaluations of the human meniscus and provide
more anatomical references for clinicians.