Temporal response of canine flexor tendon to limb suspension

Sun Yu-Long, Andrew R. Thoreson, Stephen S. Cha, Chunfeng Zhao, Kai Nan An, Peter C. Amadio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Tendon disuse, or stress deprivation, frequently accompanies clinical disorders and treatments, yet the metabolism of tendons subject to stress deprivation has rarely been investigated systematically. The effects of stress deprivation on canine flexor tendon were investigated in this study. One adult canine forepaw was suspended for 21 or 42 days. Control forepaws were collected from dogs that had no intervention on their limbs and paws. The expression of collagen I and III was not significantly altered in the tendons disused for 21 days but was significantly decreased at 42 days (P < 0.03). The expression of collagen II, aggrecan, decorin, and fibronectin was significantly decreased in the tendons in the suspended limbs at 21 days (P < 0.002) and further reduced at 42 days. With stress deprivation, the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) was significantly increased (P < 0.004) at 21 and 42 days. The expression of MMP3 was significantly decreased at 21 and 42 days (P < 0.03). The expression of MMP13 was not altered with stress deprivation at 21 and 42 days. The expression of MMP14 was significantly increased at 21 days (P = 0.0015) and returned to the control level at 42 days. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP1) expression was decreased after the limbs were suspended for 42 days (P = 0.0043), but not 21 days. However, TIMP2 expression was not significantly different from control at 21 or 42 days. Furthermore, the cross-sectional area of the stress-deprived tendons at 42 days was decreased compared with the control group (P <0.01). The intervention method in this study did not result in any alteration of stiffness of the tendon. Our study demonstrated that stress deprivation decreases the anabolic process and increases the catabolic process of extracellular matrix in flexor tendon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1762-1768
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Expression of extracellular matrix-related genes
  • Mechanical property
  • Stress deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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