Dose-response effect of an intra-tendon application of recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-BB (rhPDGF-BB) in a rat Achilles tendinopathy model

Vivek Shah, Alison Bendele, Joshua S Dines, Hans K Kestler, Jeffrey O Hollinger, Nadeen O Chahine, Christopher K Hee
Journal of Orthopaedic Research: Official Publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2013, 31 (3): 413-20
The purpose of this study was to assess whether intra-tendon delivery of recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-BB (rhPDGF-BB) would improve Achilles tendon repair in a rat collagenase-induced tendinopathy model. Seven days following collagenase induction of tendinopathy, one of four intra-tendinous treatments was administered: (i) Vehicle control (sodium acetate buffer), (ii) 1.02 µg rhPDGF-BB, (iii) 10.2 µg rhPDGF-BB, or (iv) 102 µg rhPDGF-BB. Treated tendons were assessed for histopathological (e.g., proliferation, tendon thickness, collagen fiber density/orientation) and biomechanical (e.g., maximum load-to-failure and stiffness) outcomes. By 7 days post-treatment, there was a significant increase in cell proliferation with the 10.2 and 102 µg rhPDGF-BB-treated groups (p=0.049 and 0.015, respectively) and in thickness at the tendon midsubstance in the 10.2 µg of rhPDGF-BB group (p=0.005), compared to controls. All groups had equivalent outcomes by Day 21. There was a dose-dependent effect on the maximum load-to-failure, with no significant difference in the 1.02 and 102 µg rhPDGF-BB doses but the 10.2 µg rhPDGF-BB group had a significant increase in load-to-failure at 7 (p=0.003) and 21 days (p=0.019) compared to controls. The rhPDGF-BB treatment resulted in a dose-dependent, transient increase in cell proliferation and sustained improvement in biomechanical properties in a rat Achilles tendinopathy model, demonstrating the potential of rhPDGF-BB treatment in a tendinopathy application. Consequently, in this model, data suggest that rhPDGF-BB treatment is an effective therapy and thus, may be an option for clinical applications to treat tendinopathy.

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