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Am J Sports Med. 2000 May-Jun;28(3):364-9.

The effect of ciprofloxacin on tendon, paratenon, and capsular fibroblast metabolism.

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Laboratory for Soft Tissue Research, Sports Medicine & Shoulder Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York, USA.


The pathologic mechanisms underlying fluoroquinolone-induced tendinopathy are poorly understood. The observed incidence of tendinitis and tendon rupture in patients treated with ciprofloxacin hydrochloride suggests that the fluoroquinolone antibiotics alter tendon fibroblast metabolism. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of ciprofloxacin on fibroblast metabolism in vitro. Canine Achilles tendon, paratenon, and shoulder capsule specimens were maintained in culture with ciprofloxacin (5, 10, or 50 microg/ml). Fibroblast proliferation, collagen synthesis, proteoglycan synthesis, and matrix-degrading activity were analyzed. Incubation of Achilles tendon, Achilles paratenon, and shoulder capsule fibroblasts with ciprofloxacin resulted in a statistically significant 66% to 68% decrease in cell proliferation compared with control cells at day 3 in culture. Ciprofloxacin caused a statistically significant 36% to 48% decrease in collagen synthesis compared with controls in all fibroblast cultures. Ciprofloxacin caused a statistically significant 14% to 60% decrease in proteoglycan synthesis in all fibroblast cell lines. Compared with unstimulated control fibroblasts, culture media from Achilles tendon, paratenon, and shoulder capsule cells that were exposed to ciprofloxacin demonstrated statistically significant increases in matrix-degrading proteolytic activity after 72 hours in culture. This study demonstrates that ciprofloxacin stimulates matrix-degrading protease activity from fibroblasts and that it exerts an inhibitory effect on fibroblast metabolism. The increase in protease activity and the inhibition of both cell proliferation and the synthesis of matrix ground substance may contribute to the clinically described tendinopathies associated with ciprofloxacin therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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