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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;920:191-8. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-33943-6_18.

How High Glucose Levels Affect Tendon Homeostasis.

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Balgrist University Hospital, Department of Orthopedics, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Institute for Biomechanics, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.


Among the many factors playing a role in tendon disease, unregulated biochemical reactions between glucose and the collagen extracellular matrix are coming increasingly into focus. We have shown that formation of advanced glycation end-products that cross-link the collagen extracellular matrix can drastically affect cellular level mechanical properties of the matrix, and in turn affect cell-level biomechanical stimuli during physiological loading of the tissue. We suggest that these may adversely affect tendon cell response to matrix damage, as well as the quality of the consequent repair. If such mechanical feedback loops are altered, the ability of tendon cells to maintain tissue in a functional, healthy state may be compromised. Although key foundational elements of biochemical, biomechanical, and biological understanding are now in place, the full extent of how these aspects interact, including the precise mechanisms by which advanced glycation end-products pathologically disrupt connective tissue homeostasis and damage repair, are only beginning to be adequately appreciated.


Advanced glycation endproduct; Aging; Biomechanics; Diabetes; Mechanobiology

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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