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J Orthop Res. 2019 Sep;37(9):2004-2018. doi: 10.1002/jor.24337. Epub 2019 Jun 20.

Blocking CCN2 Reduces Progression of Sensorimotor Declines and Fibrosis in a Rat Model of Chronic Repetitive Overuse.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140.
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122.

Abstract

Fibrosis may be a key factor in sensorimotor dysfunction in patients with chronic overuse-induced musculoskeletal disorders. Using a clinically relevant rodent model, in which performance of a high demand handle-pulling task induces tissue fibrosis and sensorimotor declines, we pharmacologically blocked cellular communication network factor 2 (CCN2; connective tissue growth factor) with the goal of reducing the progression of these changes. Young adult, female Sprague-Dawley rats were shaped to learn to pull at high force levels (10 min/day, 5 weeks), before performing a high repetition high force (HRHF) task for 3 weeks (2 h/day, 3 days/week). HRHF rats were untreated, or treated in task weeks 2 and 3 with a monoclonal antibody that blocks CCN2 (FG-3019), or a control immunoglobulin G (IgG). Control rats were untreated or received FG-3019, IgG, or vehicle (saline) injections. Mean task reach rate and grasp force were higher in 3-week HRHF + FG-3019 rats, compared with untreated HRHF rats. Grip strength declined while forepaw mechanical sensitivity increased in untreated HRHF rats, compared with controls; changes improved by FG-3019 treatment. The HRHF task increased collagen in multiple tissues (flexor digitorum muscles, nerves, and forepaw dermis), which was reduced with FG-3019 treatment. FG-3019 treatment also reduced HRHF-induced increases in CCN2 and transforming growth factor β in muscles. In tendons, FG-3019 reduced HRHF-induced increases in CCN2, epitendon thickening, and cell proliferation. Our findings indicate that CCN2 is critical to the progression of chronic overuse-induced multi-tissue fibrosis and functional declines. FG-3019 treatment may be a novel therapeutic strategy for overuse-induced musculoskeletal disorders. © 2019 The Authors. Journal of Orthopaedic Research® published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Orthopaedic Research Society. J Orthop Res 37:2004-2018, 2019.

KEYWORDS:

muscle; nerve; tendinopathy; tendon; work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs)

PMID:
31041999
PMCID:
PMC6688947
[Available on 2020-09-01]
DOI:
10.1002/jor.24337

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