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The effects of mechanical loading on tendons--an in vivo and in vitro model study.


ABSTRACT: Mechanical loading constantly acts on tendons, and a better understanding of its effects on the tendons is essential to gain more insights into tendon patho-physiology. This study aims to investigate tendon mechanobiological responses through the use of mouse treadmill running as an in vivo model and mechanical stretching of tendon cells as an in vitro model. In the in vivo study, mice underwent moderate treadmill running (MTR) and intensive treadmill running (ITR) regimens. Treadmill running elevated the expression of mechanical growth factors (MGF) and enhanced the proliferative potential of tendon stem cells (TSCs) in both patellar and Achilles tendons. In both tendons, MTR upregulated tenocyte-related genes: collagen type I (Coll. I ?10 fold) and tenomodulin (?3-4 fold), but did not affect non-tenocyte-related genes: LPL (adipocyte), Sox9 (chondrocyte), Runx2 and Osterix (both osteocyte). However, ITR upregulated both tenocyte (Coll. I ?7-11 fold; tenomodulin ?4-5 fold) and non-tenocyte-related genes (?3-8 fold). In the in vitro study, TSCs and tenocytes were stretched to 4% and 8% using a custom made mechanical loading system. Low mechanical stretching (4%) of TSCs from both patellar and Achilles tendons increased the expression of only the tenocyte-related genes (Coll. I ?5-6 fold; tenomodulin ?6-13 fold), but high mechanical stretching (8%) increased the expression of both tenocyte (Coll. I ?28-50 fold; tenomodulin ?14-48 fold) and non-tenocyte-related genes (2-5-fold). However, in tenocytes, non-tenocyte related gene expression was not altered by the application of either low or high mechanical stretching. These findings indicate that appropriate mechanical loading could be beneficial to tendons because of their potential to induce anabolic changes in tendon cells. However, while excessive mechanical loading caused anabolic changes in tendons, it also induced differentiation of TSCs into non-tenocytes, which may lead to the development of degenerative tendinopathy frequently seen in clinical settings.

SUBMITTER: Zhang J 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3747237 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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