Tendon and ligament injuries present a considerable socioeconomic impact as close to 50% of the 32 million musculoskeletal injuries in the US per year include these structures [1]. The inadequate healing in these tissues requires novel treatment modalities. Improving tendon tissue engineering dictates that we better understand the process of natural adult tendon healing. Type-I (Col1) and Type-II (Col2) collagens are important structural proteins in tendon as Col1 is the main collagen type found in the tendon midsubstance while Col2 is expressed at the insertion into bone during development, growth, and healing [2–3]. Expression of Col1 and Col2 has typically been analyzed via qPCR, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry (IHC) during healing. However, the temporal expression of these genes is still poorly understood on a cell-by-cell basis. Our lab has previously studied patellar tendon (PT) healing in NZW rabbits [4]. While the NZW rabbit allows for controlled injuries and accurate biomechanical assessment of healing, it lacks the genetic power that is offered in the mouse. Therefore, pOBCo13.6GFPtpz (Col1) and pCol2ECFP (Col2) double transgenic (DT) reporter mice were created to track spatiotemporal gene expression. Thus, the objectives of this study were to monitor changes in: 1) spatiotemporal Col1 and Col2 gene expression patterns, 2) tissue morphology, and 3) healing biomechanics following a full-length, central PT injury in Col1/Col2 DT mice and to compare these natural healing results to contralateral surgical shams and normal PT in age-matched controls.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.