Flexor Tendon Injury and Repair: The Influence of Synovial Environment on the Early Healing Response in a Canine Model

Hua Shen, Susumu Yoneda, Shelly E. Sakiyama-Elbert, Qiang Zhang, Stavros Thomopoulos, Richard H. Gelberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

UpdateThis article was updated on May 13, 2021, because of a previous error. On page e36(1), the title that had read "Flexor Tendon Injury and Repair. The Influence of Synovial Environment on the Early Healing Response in a Canine Mode" now reads "Flexor Tendon Injury and Repair. The Influence of Synovial Environment on the Early Healing Response in a Canine Model."An erratum has been published: J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2021 June 16;103(12):e50Background:Environmental conditions strongly influence the healing capacity of connective tissues. Well-vascularized extrasynovial tendons typically undergo a robust wound-healing process following transection and repair. In contrast, avascular intrasynovial tendons do not mount an effective repair response. The current study tests the hypothesis that flexor tendons, as a function of their synovial environment, exhibit unique inflammatory, angiogenic, and metabolic responses to injury and repair.Methods:Flexor tendons present a distinct opportunity to test the study hypothesis, as they have proximal regions that are extrasynovial and distal regions that are intrasynovial. In an internally controlled study design, the second and fifth forepaw flexor tendons were transected and repaired in either the extrasynovial or the intrasynovial anatomical region. Histological, gene expression, and proteomics analyses were performed at 3 and 7 days to define the early biological events that drive synovial environment-dependent healing responses.Results:Uninjured intrasynovial tendons were avascular, contained high levels of proteoglycans, and expressed inflammatory factors, complement proteins, and glycolytic enzymes. In contrast, extrasynovial tendons were well vascularized, contained low levels of proteoglycans, and were enriched in inflammation inhibitors and oxidative phosphorylation enzymes. The response to injury and repair was markedly different between the 2 tendon regions. Extrasynovial tendons displayed a robust and rapid neovascularization response, increased expression levels of complement proteins, and an acute shift in metabolism to glycolysis, whereas intrasynovial tendons showed minimal vascularity and muted inflammatory and metabolic responses.Conclusions:The regional molecular profiles of intact and healing flexor tendons revealed extensive early differences in innate immune response, metabolism, vascularization, and expression of extracellular matrix as a function of the synovial environment. These differences reveal mechanisms through which extrasynovial tendons heal more effectively than do intrasynovial tendons.Clinical Relevance:To improve outcomes after operative repair, future treatment strategies should promote features of extrasynovial healing, such as enhanced vascularization and modulation of the complement system and/or glucose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E36
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Volume103
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 5 2021

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