Osteoarthritic cartilage damage is aggravated by ovariectomy plus glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in a rabbit model. Ovariectomy itself induces small disturbances in the cartilage, while no differences were found between articular cartilage from ovariectomized (OVX), osteoporosis (OP) and osteoarthritis (OA) rabbits. Bar graphs showing the total Mankin score from the histological evaluation of joint cartilage at the weight bearing area of the medial femoral chondyle in the different experimental groups. Healthy, controls; OVX, ovariectomized rabbits; OP, osteoporotic rabbits induced by OVX followed by parenteral methyprednisolone injections for 4 weeks; OA, osteoarthritic rabbits induced by partial medial meniscectomy and anterior cruciate ligament section of the knee; OP+OA, rabbits with experimentally induced OP followed by OA induction. Data are expressed as the mean ± standard deviation. #P < 0.05 versus healthy; &P < 0.05 versus OVX; §P < 0.05 versus OP; ¶P < 0.05 versus OA.