"The most effective natural method for treating tendinosis is to stop the repetitive action that causes the injury in order to let the area heal," says surgeon and cell biologist Rowena McBeath, MD, PhD, at the Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center at Jefferson Health, who led the study. "But stopping an activity that people depend on for income can be quite difficult. Patients often get worse and ultimately require surgery and even lengthier recovery periods."
Other research has shown that tendon cells change shape under compressive forces, becoming tougher and more like the cartilage in the knee meniscus. Research also suggested that as people age the blood supply to tendons decreases, leaving them starved of oxygen. "Our analysis links these two avenues of research, showing that decreased oxygen is a key event that leads tendon cells to go from healthy to tougher and less flexible, resulting in tendinosis," says McBeath.
Results - March - Journal - Aging - Cell
The results were published March 28th in the journal Aging Cell.
Dr. McBeath and colleagues examined tendon samples from patients who were undergoing surgery for tendinosis and compared tendons from elderly versus young patients. Under normal oxygen levels, the tendon cells retained a normal shape and flexibility. But when those cells were grown in low-oxygen levels, mimicking the low-oxygen environment common in older people, the tendon cells changed shape, and became round and more similar to tough cartilage-like cells, called fibrocartilage.
Oxygen - Tendon - Cells - Activity - Signaling
When oxygen was low, the aged tendon cells also reduced the activity of a signaling molecule called Rac1. Rac1 is involved in many cellular processes, including those governing cell shape, movement and growth. With reduced Rac1, the tendon cells began to change shape, but...
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