The effect of papain treatment on the cartilage tissue of the knee joint of mature rabbits was studied by histological and thermoanalytical methods. Changes taking place in the composition of cartilage in the course of ageing were shown. As a result of papain treatment a significant irreversible destruction of the ground substance took place. Papain-induced loss of proteoglycans and the intensity of repair reactions and age-related differences are discussed.
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