Because of limitations in the current understanding of the exact pathogenesis of tendinopathy, and the lack of an optimal experimental model, effective therapy for the disease is currently unavailable. This study aims to prove that repression of oxidative stress modulates the differentiation of tendon-derived cells (TDCs) sustaining excessive tensile strains, and proposes a novel bioreactor capable of applying differential tensile strains to cultured cells simultaneously. TDCs, including tendon-derived stem cells, tenoblasts, tenocytes, and fibroblasts, were isolated from the patellar tendons of Sprague-Dawley rats. Cyclic uniaxial stretching with 4% or 8% strain at 0.5 Hz for 8 h was applied to TDCs. TDCs subjected to 8% strain were treated with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), piracetam, or no medication. Genes representing non-tenocyte lineage (Pparg, Sox9, and Runx2) and type I and type III collagen were analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The 8% strain group showed increased expression of non-tenocyte lineage genes and type III/type I collagen ratios compared with the control and 4% strain groups, and the increased expression was ameliorated with addition of EGCG and piracetam. The model developed in this work could be applied to future research on the pathophysiology of tendinopathy and development of treatment options for the disease. Repression of oxidative stress diminishes the expression of genes indicating aberrant differentiation in a rat cell model, which indicates potential therapeutic intervention of tendinopathy, the often relentlessly degenerate condition.
- Cell model
- Oxidative stress