Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Knee joints from adult, juvenile, hatchling, and embryonic (full term) American alligators were dissected to reveal the cruciate ligaments and the medial and lateral menisci. Two anterior cruciate (major and minor), a posterior cruciate, an intermeniscal, and a meniscofemoral ligament were identified. In addition, we found a fourth internal ligament which has not been reported previously. Menisci and ligaments from left knees were fixed in formalin and processed for routine histological observation. Those from right knees were stained in bulk by using a gold chloride method and were either frozen and sectioned at 100 m̈m on a sliding microtome or were processed for paraffin sections at 30 m̈m. The morphology of the collagenous, cartilaginous, and vascular constituents of the tissues was similar to that of the dog, cat, and human. Nerve fibers were observed in all tissues sampled. Structures resembling Golgi tendon organs and Pacinian corpuscles were identified, reinforcing the theory that neural elements within cruciate ligaments and menisci may provide afferent input that affects the function of the knee joint.
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