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Neuroreport. 1999 Jul 13;10(10):2055-60.

Sensory neuropeptidergic pattern in tendon, ligament and joint capsule. A study in the rat.

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Department of Orthopedics, Orthopedic Laboratory, Research Center, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


The normal occurrence of sensory neuropeptides in tendons, ligaments and joint capsules in the rat was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and radioimmunoassay (RIA). Nerve fibres immunoreactive to substance P (SP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), neurokinin A, galanin and somatostatin were identified in the Achilles tendon as well as the collateral ligaments and joint capsule of the knee. The neuropeptidergic fibres were predominantly found in the epiligament and paratenon. However, SP- and CGRP-positive fibres were also seen in the proper ligament and tendon tissues. RIA showed higher concentrations of SP and CGRP in tendons than in ligaments and capsules. The morphological and quantitative data obtained on sensory neuropeptides in normal tendons, ligaments and joint capsules may be used as a reference for tissue analysis in painful and inflammatory conditions of the locomotor apparatus.

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