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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2001 Nov;86(1):48-52.

Cyclic mechanical stretching modulates secretion pattern of growth factors in human tendon fibroblasts.

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Department of Trauma Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Germany.


The objective of the study was to investigate whether the response profile of the growth factor of human tendon fibroblasts could be beneficially influenced through the application of mechanical stretch. It was considered that this would elucidate structural and functional problems, often seen after tendon and ligament healing. The secretion pattern of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was determined in mechanically stretched fibroblasts and compared to non-stretched controls. Human tendon fibroblasts were experimentally stretched for 15 and 60 mm at a frequency of 1 Hz and an amplitude of 5%. The secretion of TGF-beta PDGF and bFGF was measured by enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay. All the growth factors investigated were indeed secreted by human tendon fibroblasts both in stretched cells and controls. Mechanical stretch increased the secretion pattern of the growth factors. The increased concentrations of TGF-beta bFGF and PDGF after cyclical mechanical stretching may have a positive influence on tendon and ligament healing through stimulation of cell proliferation, differentiation and matrix formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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