Lubricin in human achilles tendon: The evidence of intratendinous sliding motion and shear force in achilles tendon

Yu Long Sun, Zhuang Wei, Chunfeng Zhao, Gregory D. Jay, Thomas M. Schmid, Peter C. Amadio, Kai Nan An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Achilles tendon is one of the most commonly injured tendons. Mechanical force is regarded as a major causative factor. However, the biomechanics of Achilles tendon and mechanical mechanism of the injuries are unclear. Lubricin expresses at regions exposed to sliding motion and shear force in a number of tissues. This study investigated the distribution and concentration of lubricin in human Achilles tendons for better understanding the biomechanics of Achilles tendon. Achilles tendons were harvested from nine cadavers. Lubricin was extracted from various locations proximal to the calcaneal insertion and quantified with ELISA. The distribution of lubricin was investigated with immunohistochemistry. Lubricin was mainly identified at the interfaces of tendon fascicles, especially in the mid-portion of the tendon. The concentration of lubricin in Achilles tendons varied by individual and the distance from its calcaneal insertion. The distal portion of the tendon had a higher concentration of lubricin than the proximal regions of the tendon. This study suggests the presence of intratendinous sliding motion of fascicles and shear force at interfaces of fascicles in human Achilles tendon. Shear force could be an important mechanical factor for the development of Achilles tendinopathy and rupture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-937
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Achilles tendon
  • biomechanics
  • lubricin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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