6 Scopus citations


Rotator cuff tendinopathy, a major cause of shoulder disability, occurs due to trauma or degeneration. Our molecular understanding of traumatic and degenerative tears remains elusive. Here, we probed transcript level differences between traumatic and degenerative tears. Subacromial bursa tissues were collected from patients with traumatic or degenerative tears during arthroscopy (N = 32). Transcripts differentially expressed by tear etiology were detected by RNA-seq. RNA-seq results were validated by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. We identified 334 protein-coding transcripts differentially expressed between traumatic and degenerative tears in females and 167 in males at a fold-change greater than 2. In females, XIRP2, MYL1, MYBPC1, TNNT1, and LMOD2, were highly expressed in traumatic tears whereas TPSD1, CDSN, RCVRN, LTBP4, and PTGS1 were elevated in degen tears. Transcripts elevated in traumatic tears represented muscle cell differentiation and development, and muscle contraction whereas those elevated in degenerative tears represented cell activation and immune response. In males, AZGP1, CNTFR, COL9A1, ZNF98, and EREG were highly elevated in traumatic tears whereas MYL2, HOXD11, SLC6A7, CADM1, and MMP17 were highly expressed in degenerative tears. Transcripts elevated in traumatic tears represented metabolic/catabolic processes, and transmembrane protein transport while processes related to cell cycle were mainly enriched in degenerative tears. Numerous long noncoding RNAs were differentially expressed between traumatic and degenerative tears in both sexes. In summary, this study provides insights into molecular biology of bursa in patients with rotator cuff tendon disease based on tear acuity and novel sex-based transcript differences that could inform clinical decision making in treating patients with traumatic or degenerative shoulder injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2713-2727
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • bursa
  • immune response
  • muscle cell differentiation
  • rotator cuff tendinopathy
  • transcriptomics


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