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Expression of transforming growth factor-beta isoforms and their receptors in chronic tendinosis

  • S. A. FENWICK (a1), V. CURRY (a1), R. L. HARRALL (a1), B. L. HAZLEMAN (a1), R. HACKNEY (a2) and G. P. RILEY...

Abstract

Chronic tendon lesions are degenerative conditions and may represent a failure to repair or remodel the extracellular matrix after repeated micro-injury. Since TGF-β is strongly associated with tissue repair, we investigated the expression of TGF-β isoforms (β1, β2 and β3) and their 2 signalling receptors (TGF-βRI and TGF-βRII) in normal and pathological Achilles tendons. In all tissues, all 3 TGF-β isoforms and the 2 receptors were present at sites of blood vessels. Cells in the matrix showed no staining for TGF-β1 or β3, while TGF-β2 was associated with cells throughout the normal cadaver tendon. Tissue from tendons with pathological lesions showed an increase in cell numbers and percentage TGF-β2 expression. TGF-βRII showed a wide distribution in cells throughout the tissue sections. As with TGF-β2, there was an increase in the number of cells expressing TGF-βRII in pathological tissue. TGF-βRI was restricted to blood vessels and was absent from the fibrillar matrix. We conclude that despite the presence and upregulation of TGF-β2, TGF-β signalling is not propagated due to the lack of TGF-βRI. This might explain why chronic tendon lesions fail to resolve and suggests that the addition of exogenous TGF-β will have little effect on chronic tendinopathy.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dr Graham Riley, Rheumatology Research Unit, Box 194, Level E6, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, U.K. Tel.: +44 (0) 1223 217458; fax: +44 (0) 1223 217838; e-mail: gpr1003@cus.cam.ac.uk

Keywords

Expression of transforming growth factor-beta isoforms and their receptors in chronic tendinosis

  • S. A. FENWICK (a1), V. CURRY (a1), R. L. HARRALL (a1), B. L. HAZLEMAN (a1), R. HACKNEY (a2) and G. P. RILEY...

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