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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Jun 3;409(2):247-52. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.04.138. Epub 2011 May 5.

Mechanical stretch increases CCN2/CTGF expression in anterior cruciate ligament-derived cells.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Science of Functional Recovery and Reconstruction, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama, Japan.


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-to-bone interface serves to minimize the stress concentrations that would arise between two different tissues. Mechanical stretch plays an important role in maintaining cell-specific features by inducing CCN family 2/connective tissue growth factor (CCN2/CTGF). We previously reported that cyclic tensile strain (CTS) stimulates α1(I) collagen (COL1A1) expression in human ACL-derived cells. However, the biological function and stress-related response of CCN2/CTGF were still unclear in ACL fibroblasts. In the present study, CCN2/CTGF was observed in ACL-to-bone interface, but was not in the midsubstance region by immunohistochemical analyses. CTS treatments induced higher increase of CCN2/CTGF expression and secretion in interface cells compared with midsubstance cells. COL1A1 expression was not influenced by CCN2/CTGF treatment in interface cells despite CCN2/CTGF stimulated COL1A1 expression in midsubstance cells. However, CCN2/CTGF stimulated the proliferation of interface cells. Our results suggest that distinct biological function of stretch-induced CCN2/CTGF might regulate region-specific phenotypes of ACL-derived cells.

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