In vitro transplantation of genetically modified cells to the tendon surface

Paulus J.J. Couvreur, Chunfeng Zhao, Stephen Murphy, Peter C. Amadio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this paper was to study in vitro transfection of tendon cells and adherence of transfected cells to different tendon surfaces. Achilles tendon fibroblasts from 2-month-old New Zealand white rabbits were cultured to confluence, after which the cells were transfected by an adenovirus carrying either the β-galactosidase reporter gene or the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene at multiplicities of infection (MOIs) of 50, 100, or 500. Two days later, the cells were transplanted onto the surfaces of rabbit Achilles, peroneus brevis, flexor profundus, and extensor longus tendons. The tendons were assessed by X-gal staining after 9 days, and by GFP fluorescence at 7, 14, and 21 days. Twenty percent to 50% of the treated cells stained for β-galactosidase at an MOI of 500. The GFP-labeled cells showed nearly 100% fluorescence at an MOI of 50. No positive cells were visible in the control group. The β-galactosidase and GFP-expressing cells remained viable for as long as 3 weeks. It is possible to introduce foreign genes into rabbit tendon cells, transplant the cells onto tendon surfaces, and maintain viability of the cell/tendon construct for several weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Musculoskeletal Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Gene transfer
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Tenocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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