Human Achilles tendon mechanical behavior is more strongly related to collagen disorganization than advanced glycation end-products content

Jennifer A. Zellers, Jeremy D. Eekhoff, Remy E. Walk, Mary K. Hastings, Simon Y. Tang, Spencer P. Lake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Diabetes is associated with impaired tendon homeostasis and subsequent tendon dysfunction, but the mechanisms underlying these associations is unclear. Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) accumulate with diabetes and have been suggested to alter tendon function. In vivo imaging in humans has suggested collagen disorganization is more frequent in individuals with diabetes, which could also impair tendon mechanical function. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between tendon tensile mechanics in human Achilles tendon with accumulation of advanced glycation end-products and collagen disorganization. Achilles tendon specimens (n = 16) were collected from individuals undergoing lower extremity amputation or from autopsy. Tendons were tensile tested with simultaneous quantitative polarized light imaging to assess collagen organization, after which AGEs content was assessed using a fluorescence assay. Moderate to strong relationships were observed between measures of collagen organization and tendon tensile mechanics (range of correlation coefficients: 0.570–0.727), whereas no statistically significant relationships were observed between AGEs content and mechanical parameters (range of correlation coefficients: 0.020–0.210). Results suggest that the relationship between AGEs content and tendon tensile mechanics may be masked by multifactorial collagen disorganization at larger length scales (i.e., the fascicle level).

Original languageEnglish
Article number24147
JournalScientific reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

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