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Exp Mol Pathol. 2003 Aug;75(1):80-8.

Systemic vanadate ingestion modulates rat tendon repair.

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  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA 17033-0850, USA.


The chronic ingestion of vanadate prevents the appearance of myofibroblasts within granulation tissue of full excision wounds in rats, yet these wounds close at an optimal rate. Myofibroblasts are reported in the repair of transected tendons. Here we investigate tendon repair in the absence of myofibroblasts. Vanadate in saline drinking water was given to rats in the experimental group, while rats in the control group received saline alone. The Achilles tendon of the left leg of each rat was transected and suture repaired. On day 10, both repaired tendons and uninjured tendons from the right leg were harvested and processed for histology. By immunohistology the repaired tendons of control rats had myofibroblasts (fibroblasts with alpha smooth muscle actin positive stress fibers), while myofibroblasts were absent in healing tendons from vanadate-treated rats. By transmission electron microscopy and polarized light optics, repaired tendons of control rats demonstrated thin, loosely packed, immature collagen fiber bundles. Collagen fiber bundles from healing tendons of the vanadate-treated group were thicker, uniformly packed, and more mature. The chronic ingestion of vanadate promotes the more rapid organization of collagen fiber bundles of healing transected tendons in the absence of myofibroblasts.

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