Mouse treadmill running enhances tendons by expanding the pool of tendon stem cells (TSCs) and TSC-related cellular production of collagen

Authors

  • Jianying Zhang,

    1. MechanoBiology Laboratory, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bioengineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, 210 Lothrop Street, BST, E1640, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
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  • Tiffany Pan,

    1. MechanoBiology Laboratory, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bioengineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, 210 Lothrop Street, BST, E1640, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
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  • Yan Liu,

    1. MechanoBiology Laboratory, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bioengineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, 210 Lothrop Street, BST, E1640, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
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  • James H-C. Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. MechanoBiology Laboratory, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bioengineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, 210 Lothrop Street, BST, E1640, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
    • MechanoBiology Laboratory, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bioengineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, 210 Lothrop Street, BST, E1640, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213. T: 412-648-9102; F: 412-648-8548.
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Abstract

Exercise is known to enhance tendon size and strength, but the stem cell-based mechanisms for such exercise-induced effects are largely unknown. This study aims to explore these mechanisms by using a mouse treadmill running model to examine the effects of exercise on newly discovered tendon stem cells (TSCs). After treadmill running, patellar TSCs (PTSCs) and Achilles TSCs (ATSCs) were isolated from the mice, and their proliferation was measured in vitro. We found that treadmill running nearly doubled proliferation rates of both PTSCs and ATSCs compared to cage control mice. Moreover, using a mixed tendon cell culture consisting of TSCs and tenocytes, cellular production of collagen was found to increase by 70% and 200% in PTSCs and ATSCs, respectively, from the treadmill running group over cells from the cage control group. These findings suggest that exercise exerts its anabolic effects on tendons at least in part by increasing proliferation to expand the pool of TSCs and also by increasing TSC-related cellular production of collagen, the predominant component of tendons. © 2010 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 28:1178–1183, 2010

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