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Effects of administration of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 and anti-TGF-beta1 antibody on the mechanical properties of the stress-shielded patellar tendon

Taro Katsura, Harukazu Tohyama, Eiji Kondo, Nobuto Kitamura, Kazunori Yasuda
Journal of Biomechanics 2006, 39 (14): 2566-72
16214152
Previous studies have shown that, in the stress-shielded patellar tendon, the mechanical properties of the tendon were dramatically reduced and TGF-beta was over-expressed in tendon fibroblasts. In the present study, therefore, we tested two supportive hypotheses using 40 rabbits: One was that an application of TGF-beta1 might significantly increase the tensile strength and the tangent modulus of the stress-shielded patellar tendon. The other one was that an administration of anti-TGF-beta1 antibody might significantly reduce the mechanical properties of the stress-shielded patellar tendon. In the results, an application of 4-ng TGF-beta1 significantly increased the tangent modulus of the stress-shielded patellar tendon at 3 weeks (p = 0.019), compared with the sham treatment. Concerning the tensile strength, the 4-ng TGF-beta1 application increased the average value, but a statistical significance was not reached. An application of 50-microg anti-TGF-beta1 antibody significantly reduced the tangent modulus and the tensile strength of the stress-shielded patellar tendon at 3 weeks (p = 0.0068 and p = 0.0355), compared with the sham treatment. Because the stress-shielding treatment used in this study dramatically reduces the tangent modulus and the tensile strength of the patellar tendon, the present study suggested that an administration of TGF-beta1 weakly but significantly inhibited the reduction of the mechanical properties of the stress-shielded patellar tendon, and that inactivation of TGF-beta1 with its antibody significantly enhanced the reduction of the mechanical properties that occurs in the stress-shielded patellar tendon. These results suggested that TGF-beta1 plays an important role in remodeling of the stress-shielded patellar tendon.

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