Apoptotic Body-Rich Media from Tenocytes Enhance Proliferation and Migration of Tenocytes and Bone Marrow Stromal Cells

Chenhui Dong, Anne Gingery, Peter C. Amadio, Kai Nan An, Steven L. Moran, Chunfeng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The intrinsic healing following tendon injury is ideal, in which tendon progenitor cells proliferate and migrate to the injury site to directly bridge or regenerate tendon tissue. However, the mechanism determining why and how those cells are attracted to the injury site for tendon healing is not understood. Since the tenocytes near the injury site go through apoptosis or necrosis following injury, we hypothesized that secretions from injured tenocytes might have biological effects on cell proliferation and migration to enhance tendon healing. Tenocyte apoptosis was induced by 24 h cell starvation. Apoptotic body-rich media (T-ABRM) and apoptotic body-depleted media (T-ABDM) were collected from culture media after centrifuging. Tenocytes and bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMDSCs) were isolated and cultured with the following four media: (1) T-ABRM, (2) T-ABDM, (3) GDF-5, or (4) basal medium with 2% fetal calf serum (FCS). The cell activities and functions were evaluated. Both T-ABRM and T-ABDM treatments significantly stimulated the cell proliferation, migration, and extracellular matrix synthesis for both tenocytes and BMDSCs compared to the control groups (GDF-5 and basal medium). However, cell proliferation, migration, and extracellular matrix production of T-ABRM-treated cells were significantly higher than the T-ABDM, which indicates the apoptotic bodies are critical for cell activities. Our study revealed the possible mechanism of the intrinsic healing of the tendon in which apoptotic bodies, in the process of apoptosis, following tendon injury promote tenocyte and stromal cell proliferation, migration, and production. Future studies should analyze the components of the apoptotic bodies that play this role, and, thus, the targeting of therapeutics can be developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11475
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • apoptotic body
  • bone marrow stromal cells
  • migration
  • proliferation
  • tenocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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