The Implication of Substance P in the Development of Tendinopathy: A Case Control Study.
ABSTRACT: It was reported that substance P had beneficial effects in the healing of acute tendon injury. However, the relationship between substance P and degenerative tendinopathy development remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of substance P in the pathogenesis of tendinopathy. Healthy and tendinopathy tendon were harvested from human and tenocytes were cultured individually. The expression levels of genes associated with tendinopathy were compared. Next, substance P was exogenously administered to the healthy tenocyte and the effect was evaluated. The results showed that tendinopathy tenocytes had higher levels of COL3A1, MMP1, COX2, SCX, ACTA2, and substance P gene expression compared to healthy tenocytes. Next, substance P treatment on the healthy tenocyte displayed similar changes to that of the tendinopathy tenocytes. These differences between the two groups were also determined by Western blot. Additionally, cells with substance P had the tendinopathy change morphologically although cellular proliferation was significantly higher compared to that of the control group. In conclusion, substance P enhanced cellular proliferation, but concomitantly increased immature collagen (type 3 collagen). Substance P plays a crucial role in tendinopathy development and could be a future therapeutic target for treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tendinopathies are common and difficult to resolve due to the formation of scar tissue that reduces the mechanical integrity of the tissue, leading to frequent reinjury. Tenocytes respond to both excessive loading and unloading by producing pro-inflammatory mediators, suggesting that these cells are actively involved in the development of tendon degeneration. The transcription factor scleraxis (Scx) is required for the development of force-transmitting tendon during development and for mechanically stimulated tenogenesis of stem cells, but its function in adult tenocytes is less well-defined. The aim of this study was to further define the role of Scx in mediating the adult tenocyte mechanoresponse. RESULTS:Equine tenocytes exposed to siRNA targeting Scx or a control siRNA were maintained under cyclic mechanical strain before being submitted for RNA-seq analysis. Focal adhesions and extracellular matrix-receptor interaction were among the top gene networks downregulated in Scx knockdown tenocytes. Correspondingly, tenocytes exposed to Scx siRNA were significantly softer, with longer vinculin-containing focal adhesions, and an impaired ability to migrate on soft surfaces. Other pathways affected by Scx knockdown included increased oxidative phosphorylation and diseases caused by endoplasmic reticular stress, pointing to a larger role for Scx in maintaining tenocyte homeostasis. CONCLUSIONS:Our study identifies several novel roles for Scx in adult tenocytes, which suggest that Scx facilitates mechanosensing by regulating the expression of several mechanosensitive focal adhesion proteins. Furthermore, we identified a number of other pathways and targets affected by Scx knockdown that have the potential to elucidate the role that tenocytes may play in the development of degenerative tendinopathy.
Project description:Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with higher risk of tendinopathy, which reduces tolerance to exercise and functional activities and affects lifestyle and glycemic control. Expression of tendon-related genes and matrix metabolism in tenocytes are essential for maintaining physiological functions of tendon. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in diabetic tendinopathy remain unclear. We hypothesized that high glucose (HG) alters the characteristics of tenocyte. Using in vitro 2-week culture of tenocytes, we found that expression of tendon-related genes, including Egr1, Mkx, TGF-?1, Col1a2, and Bgn, was significantly decreased in HG culture and that higher glucose consumption occurred. Down-regulation of Egr1 by siRNA decreased Scx, Mkx, TGF-?1, Col1a1, Col1a2, and Bgn expression. Blocking AMPK activation with Compound C reduced the expression of Egr1, Scx, TGF-?1, Col1a1, Col1a2, and Bgn in the low glucose condition. In addition, histological examination of tendons from diabetic mice displayed larger interfibrillar space and uneven glycoprotein deposition. Thus, we concluded that high glucose alters tendon homeostasis through downregulation of the AMPK/Egr1 pathway and the expression of downstream tendon-related genes in tenocytes. The findings render a molecular basis of the mechanism of diabetic tendinopathy and may help develop preventive and therapeutic strategies for the pathology.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) had been reported to be associated with tendinopathy. However, the underlying mechanisms of diabetic tendinopathy still remain largely to be discovered. The purpose of this study was to develop insulin resistance (IR) model on primary human tenocytes (hTeno) culture with tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?) treatment to study tenocytes homeostasis as an implication for diabetic tendinopathy.<h4>Methods</h4>hTenowere isolated from human hamstring tendon. Presence of insulin receptor beta (INSR-?) on normal tendon tissues and the hTeno monolayer culture were analyzed by immunofluorescence staining. The presence of Glucose Transporter Type 1 (GLUT1) and Glucose Transporter Type 4 (GLUT4) on the hTeno monolayer culture were also analyzed by immunofluorescence staining. Primary hTeno were treated with 0.008, 0.08, 0.8 and 8.0 µM of TNF-?, with and without insulin supplement. Outcome measures include 2-[N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl) amino]-2-deoxy-d-glucose (2-NBDG) assay to determine the glucose uptake activity; colourimetric total collagen assay to quantify the total collagen expression levels; COL-I ELISA assay to measure the COL-I expression levels and real-time qPCR to analyze the mRNA gene expressions levels of Scleraxis (SCX), Mohawk (MKX), type I collagen (COL1A1), type III collagen (COL3A1), matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-9 and MMP-13 in hTeno when treated with TNF-?. Apoptosis assay for hTeno induced with TNF-? was conducted using Annexin-V FITC flow cytometry analysis.<h4>Results</h4>Immunofluorescence imaging showed the presence of INSR-? on the hTeno in the human Achilles tendon tissues and in the hTeno in monolayer culture. GLUT1 and GLUT4 were both positively expressed in the hTeno. TNF-? significantly reduced the insulin-mediated 2-NBDG uptake in all the tested concentrations, especially at 0.008 µM. Total collagen expression levels and COL-I expression levels in hTeno were also significantly reduced in hTeno treated with 0.008 µM of TNF-?. The SCX, MKX and COL1A1 mRNA expression levels were significantly downregulated in all TNF-? treated hTeno, whereas the COL3A1, MMP-9 and MMP-13 were significantly upregulated in the TNF-? treated cells. TNF-? progressively increased the apoptotic cells at 48 and 72 h.<h4>Conclusion</h4>At 0.008 µM of TNF-?, an IR condition was induced in hTeno, supported with the significant reduction in glucose uptake, as well as significantly reduced total collagen, specifically COL-I expression levels, downregulation of candidate tenogenic markers genes (SCX and MKX), and upregulation of ECM catabolic genes (MMP-9 and MMP-13). Development of novel IR model in hTeno provides an insight on how tendon homeostasis could be affected and can be used as a tool for further discovering the effects on downstream molecular pathways, as the implication for diabetic tendinopathy.
Project description:Increasingly, inflammatory mediators are considered crucial to the onset and perpetuation of tendinopathy. We sought evidence of interleukin 17A (IL-17A) expression in early human tendinopathy and thereafter, explored mechanisms whereby IL-17A mediated inflammation and tissue remodeling in human tenocytes. Torn supraspinatus tendon (established pathology) and matched intact subscapularis tendon (representing 'early pathology') along with control biopsies were collected from patients undergoing shoulder surgery. Markers of inflammation and IL-17A were quantified by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Human tendon cells were derived from hamstring tendon obtained during ACL reconstruction. In vitro effects of IL-17A upon tenocytes were measured using RT-PCR, multiplex cytokine assays, apoptotic proteomic profiling, immunohistochemistry and annexin V FACS staining. Increased expression of IL-17A was detected in 'early tendinopathy' compared to both matched samples and non-matched control samples (p?<?0.01) by RT-PCR and immunostaining. Double immunofluoresence staining revealed IL-17A expression in leukocyte subsets including mast cells, macrophages and T cells. IL-17A treated tenocytes exhibited increased production of proinflammatory cytokines (p?<?0.001), altered matrix regulation (p?<?0.01) with increased Collagen type III and increased expression of several apoptosis related factors. We propose IL-17A as an inflammatory mediator within the early tendinopathy processes thus providing novel therapeutic approaches in the management of tendon disorders.
Project description:Achilles tendinopathies display focal tissue thickening with pain and ultrasonography changes. Whilst complete rupture might be expected to induce changes in tissue organization and protein composition, little is known about the consequences of non-rupture-associated tendinopathies, especially with regards to changes in the content of collagen type I and III (the major collagens in tendon), and changes in tendon fibroblast (tenocyte) shape and organization of the extracellular matrix (ECM). To gain new insights, we took biopsies from the tendinopathic region and flanking healthy region of Achilles tendons of six individuals with clinically diagnosed tendinopathy who had no evidence of cholesterol, uric acid and amyloid accumulation. Biochemical analyses of collagen III/I ratio were performed on all six individuals, and electron microscope analysis using transmission electron microscopy and serial block face-scanning electron microscopy were made on two individuals. In the tendinopathic regions, compared with the flanking healthy tissue, we observed: (i) an increase in the ratio of collagen III : I proteins; (ii) buckling of the collagen fascicles in the ECM; (iii) buckling of tenocytes and their nuclei; and (iv) an increase in the ratio of small-diameter : large-diameter collagen fibrils. In summary, load-induced non-rupture tendinopathy in humans is associated with localized biochemical changes, a shift from large- to small-diameter fibrils, buckling of the tendon ECM, and buckling of the cells and their nuclei.
Project description:Scleraxis is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that plays a central role in promoting tenocyte proliferation and matrix synthesis during embryonic tendon development. However, the role of scleraxis in the growth and adaptation of adult tendons is not known. We hypothesized that scleraxis is required for tendon growth in response to mechanical loading and that scleraxis promotes the specification of progenitor cells into tenocytes. We conditionally deleted scleraxis in adult mice using a tamoxifen-inducible Cre-recombinase expressed from the Rosa26 locus (Scx?) and then induced tendon growth in Scx+ and Scx? adult mice via plantaris tendon mechanical overload. Compared with the WT Scx+ group, Scx? mice demonstrated blunted tendon growth. Transcriptional and proteomic analyses revealed significant reductions in cell proliferation, protein synthesis, and extracellular matrix genes and proteins. Our results indicate that scleraxis is required for mechanically stimulated adult tendon growth by causing the commitment of CD146+ pericytes into the tenogenic lineage and by promoting the initial expansion of newly committed tenocytes and the production of extracellular matrix proteins.
Project description: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.
Project description:Female-dominant tendinopathies are musculoskeletal disorders caused by repetitive hand posture and motion; they are considered overuse syndromes. Both external mechanical stress and changes in hormone levels might affect disease progression. We have previously reported that estrogen receptor-? (ER)-? expression was associated with the pathogenesis of de Quervain's disease. To study the underlying mechanisms, a cyclic stretching culture system was applied to tendon tissue from ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Furthermore, a collagenase I-induced rat tendinopathy model was established to examine the association of ER-? with disease progression. Our results showed that ER-? expression and the number of apoptotic cells were higher and associated with disease severity in rats with tendinopathy. Mechanical stress altered the morphology of primary tenocytes and collagen fiber alignment in tendons, and up-regulated the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9, ER-?, and interleukin-1?, as well as induced apoptosis in tenocytes and tendon tissue from OVX rats. This is the first report on the effects of ER-? and mechanical stress in tendinopathy. We hope these findings contribute to new pharmacological therapies targeting ER-? signaling pathways to treat tendon-related diseases.
Project description:Various therapeutic effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been reported. However, the rapid clearance of these cells in vivo, difficulties in identifying their therapeutic mechanism of action, and insufficient production levels remain to be resolved. We investigated whether a pioglitazone pre-treatment of MSCs (Pio-MSCs) would stimulate the proliferation of co-cultured tenocytes. Pioglitazone increased the proliferation of MSCs and enhanced the secretion of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and collagen in these cells. We then examined the effects of Pio-MSCs on tenocytes using an indirect transwell culture system. A significant increase in tenocyte proliferation and cell cycle progression was observed in these co-cultures. Significant increases were observed in wound scratch closure by tenocytes from a Pio-MSC co-culture. Pio-MSCs also enhanced the secretion of collagen from tenocytes. A higher mRNA level of collagen type 1 (Col 1) and type 3 (Col 3), scleraxis (Scx), and tenascin C (TnC) was found in the tenocytes in Pio-MSC co-cultures compared with monocultured cells or tenocytes cultured with non-treated MSCs. Our results indicate that pioglitazone enhances the therapeutic effects of MSCs on tendon repair.
Project description:Recently, neuromediators such as substance P (SP) have been found to be important factors in tendon homeostasis. Some studies have found SP to be the cause of inflammation and tendinopathy, whereas others have determined it to be a critical component of tendon healing. As demonstrated by these conflicting findings, the effects of SP on tendinopathy remain unclear. In this study, we hypothesized that the duration of SP exposure determines its effect on the tendons, with repetitive long-term exposure leading to the development of tendinopathy. First, we verified the changes in gene and protein expression using in vitro tenocytes with 10-day exposure to SP. SP and SP + Run groups were injected with SP in their Achilles tendon every other day for 14 days. Achilles tendons were then harvested for biomechanical testing and histological processing. Notably, tendinopathic changes with decreased tensile strength, as observed in the Positive Control, were observed in the Achilles in the SP group compared to the Negative Control. Subsequent histological analysis, including Alcian blue staining, also revealed alterations in the Achilles tendon, which were generally consistent with the findings of tendinopathy in SP and SP + Run groups. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed increased expression of SP in the SP group, similar to the Positive Control. In general, the SP + Run group showed worse tendinopathic changes. These results suggest that sustained exposure to SP may be involved in the development of tendinopathy. Future research on inhibiting SP is warranted to target SP in the treatment of tendinopathy and may be beneficial to patients with tendinopathy.