Int J Nanomedicine 2018 8;13:7217-7227. Epub 2018 Nov 8.
Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea,
Background: Tendon-derived stem cells (TDSCs) are key factors associated with regeneration and healing in tendinopathy. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of mechanical stiffness and topographic signals on the differentiation of TDSCs depending on age and pathological conditions.
Materials And Methods: We compared TDSCs extracted from normal tendon tissues with TDSCs from tendinopathic Achilles tendon tissues of Sprague Dawley rats in vitro and TDSCs cultured on nanotopographic cues and substrate stiffness to determine how to control the TDSCs. The tendinopathy model was created using a chemical induction method, and the tendon injury model was created via an injury-and-overuse method. Norland Optical Adhesive 86 (NOA86) substrate with 2.48 GPa stiffness with and without 800 nm-wide nanogrooves and a polyurethane substrate with 800 nm-wide nanogrooves were used.
Results: TDSCs from 5-week-old normal tendon showed high expression of type III collagen on the flat NOA86 substrate. In the 15-week normal tendon model, expression of type III collagen was high in TDSCs cultured on the 800 nm NOA86 substrates. However, in the 15-week tendon injury model, expression of type III collagen was similar irrespective of nanotopographic cues or substrate stiffness. The expression of type I collagen was also independent of nanotopographic cues and substrate stiffness in the 15-week normal and tendon injury models. Gene expression of scleraxis was increased in TDSCs cultured on the flat NOA86 substrate in the 5-week normal tendon model (=0.001). In the 15-week normal tendon model, scleraxis was highly expressed in TDSCs cultured on the 800 nm and flat NOA86 substrate (=0.043). However, this gene expression was not significantly different between the substrates in the 5-week tendinopathy and 15-week tendon injury models.
Conclusion: Development and maturation of tendon are enhanced when TDSCs from normal tendons were cultured on stiff surface, but not when the TDSCs came from pathologic models. Therapeutic applications of TDSCs need to be flexible based on tendon age and tendinopathy.