Tendon is a highly organized, dense connective tissue that has been demonstrated to have very little turnover. In spite of the low turnover, tendon can grow in response to loading, which may take place primarily at the periphery. Tendon injuries and recurrence of injuries are common in both humans and animals in sports. It is unclear why some areas of the tendon are more susceptible to such injuries and whether this is due to intrinsic regional differences in extracellular matrix (ECM) production or tissue turnover. This study aimed to compare populations of tenocytes derived from the tendon core and periphery. Tenocytes were isolated from equine superficial digital flexor tendons (SDFTs), and the proliferation capacity was determined. ECM production was characterized by immuno- and histological staining and by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Core and periphery SDFT cultures exhibited comparable proliferation rates and had very similar proteome profiles, but showed biological variation in collagen type I deposition. In conclusion, the intrinsic properties of tenocytes from different regions of the tendon are very similar, and other factors in the tissue may contribute to how specific areas respond to loading or injury.
- Cell proliferation
- Extracellular matrix