Effects of platelet-derived growth factor-BB on the metabolic function and morphologic features of equine tendon in explant culture

Jennifer L Haupt, Brandon P Donnelly, Alan J Nixon
American Journal of Veterinary Research 2006, 67 (9): 1595-600

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-BB (rhPDGF-BB) on the metabolic function and morphologic features of equine superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) in explant culture. Animals-6 euthanized horses (2 to 5 years old).

METHODS: Forelimb SDFT explants were cultured for 6 days as untreated control specimens or treated with rhPDGF-BB (1, 10, 50, or 100 ng/mL of medium). Treatment effects on explant gene expression were evaluated via real-time PCR analysis of collagen type I, collagen type III, PDGF-A, and PDGF-B mRNA. Explants were assayed for total collagen, glycosaminoglycan, and DNA content; histologic changes were assessed via H and E staining and immunohistochemical localization of collagen types I and III.

RESULTS: No morphologic or proliferative changes were detected in tendon explant sections. After high-dose rhPDGF-BB treatment, gene expression of collagen types I and III was increased and decreased, respectively. Expression of PDGF-A and PDGF-B mRNA was significantly increased at 24 hours, but later decreased to have few or negative autoinductive effects. Although PDGF gene expression waned after 48 hours of culture, collagen type I gene expression was significantly increased at 48 hours and reached peak value on day 6. Glycosaminoglycan and DNA content of explants were unchanged with rhPDGF-BB treatment.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggest that rhPDGF-BB use may be of benefit in the repair of equine tendon, particularly through induction of collagen type I mRNA. Positive autoinductive effects of PDGF-BB in equine SDFT explants were detected early following culture medium supplementation, but these diminished with time.

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