Histological study of effect of semicarbazide on the epiphyseal plate of the tibia and the shaft of femur of juvenile male albino rats

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Semicarbazide (SEM) is an azodicarbonamide byproduct present in glass jar packaged foods especially babyfoods. As a relatively high consumption of these products by infants can result in higher exposure compared with other consumers.

Aim of this work

The aim of this work was to study the effect of SEM on the epiphyseal plate of the tibia and the shaft of the femur of juvenile male albino rats using both light and electron microscopes as the target sites of SEM are mainly cartilage and bone.

Materials and methods

This study was carried out on 30 juvenile male albino rats divided into a control group and a treated group. Animals of the treated group were administered 40 mg of SEM orally once daily for 30 days. At the end of the experiment, the shaft of the femur and the epiphyseal plate of the tibia were dissected, decalcified, and prepared for light and electron microscopic examination.


Sections obtained from treated rats showed severe osteochondral lesions in the form of multiple tears and fragmentation of the epiphyseal plate, the formation of many notches on both periosteal and endosteal surfaces, and multiple intralamellar resorption cavities associated with many multinucleated osteoclast were seen in the shaft of the femur. Both chondrocytes and osteocytes showed many degenerative changes in addition to a reduction in the collagen fibers of the matrix of both cartilage and bone.

Conclusion and recommendation

The present study indicated that SEM administration during the juvenile period induced multiple osteochondral histological alterations that resulted in decreased bone mass and defects in the development of the epiphyseal plate, which represents a major risk factor for development during early adulthood; thus, it is better to avoid food products sold in glass jars, especially during juvenile period.

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