Ligament heals in a synchronized and complex series of events. The remodeling process may last months or years. Experimental evidence suggests the damaged ligament does not recover its normal functional properties. Specific mechanisms to prevent scar formation and to regenerate the original mechanical function remain elusive but likely involve regulation of creeping substitution. Creeping substitution creates a larger hypercellular, hypervascular, and disorganized granulation tissue mass that results in an inefficient and nonregenerative wound healing process for the ligament. Control of creeping substitution may limit the extent of this tissue compromise and reduce the time necessary for healing. The objective of this study is to better understand the mechanism behind scar formation by identifying the extracellular matrix factors and other unique genes of interest differentially expressed during rat ligament healing via microarray. For this study, rat medial collateral ligaments were either surgically transected or left intact. Ligaments were collected at day 3 or 7 postinjury and used for microarray, quantitative PCR, and/or immunohistochemistry. Results were compared with the normal intact ligament. We demonstrate that early ligament healing is characterized by the modulation of several inflammatory and extracellular matrix factors during the first week of injury. Specifically, a number of matrix metalloproteinases and collagens are differentially and significantly expressed during early ligament healing. Additionally, we demonstrate the modulation of three novel genes, periostin, collagen-triple helix repeat containing-1, and serine protease 35 in our ligament healing model. Together, control of granulation tissue creeping substitution and subsequent downstream scar formation is likely to involve these factors.
"Batch results were submitted to the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository (Accession number:GSE47676). For summary of microarray results not pertaining to the interleukins, refer to Chamberlain, et al., 2011.  "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ligament healing follows a series of complex coordinated events involving various cell types, cytokines, as well as other factors, producing a mechanically inferior tissue more scar-like than native tissue. Macrophages provide an ongoing source of cytokines to modulate inflammatory cell adhesion and migration as well as fibroblast proliferation. Studying interleukins inherent to ligament healing during peak macrophage activation and angiogenesis may elucidate inflammatory mediators involved in subsequent scar formation. Herein, we used a rat healing model assayed after surgical transection of their medial collateral ligaments (MCLs). On days 3 and 7 post-injury, ligaments were collected and used for microarray analysis. Of the 12 significantly modified interleukins, components of the interleukin-1 family were significantly up-regulated. We therefore examined the influence of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) on MCL healing. Transected rat MCLs received PBS or IL-1Ra at the time of surgery. Inhibition of IL-1 activation decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-12, IL-2, and IFN-γ), myofibroblasts, and proliferating cells, as well as increased anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10), endothelial cells/blood vessel lumen, M2 macrophages, and granulation tissue size without compromising the mechanical properties. These results support the concept that IL-1Ra modulates MCL-localized granulation tissue components and cytokine production to create a transient environment that is less inflammatory. Overall, IL-1Ra may have therapeutic potential early in the healing cascade by stimulating the M2 macrophages and altering the granulation tissue components. However, the single dose of IL-1Ra used in this study was insufficient to maintain the more regenerative early response. Due to the transient influence on most of the healing components tested, IL-1Ra may have greater therapeutic potential with sustained delivery.
PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e71631. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0071631 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"Periostin (or OSF-2, Osteoblast Specific Factor-2) is a matricellular protein with a poorly defined role in wound repair and a physiological serum level of approximately 39 ng/ml
[55,56]. In vivo studies revealed an association with fracture healing, wound-derived blood vessels, acute myocardial infarction response, skin wounds, and ligament repair
[57-62]. In addition to those above low levels of Periostin expression are common in normal lung while high levels of Periostin are detected in IPF lungs and patient serum although the role of this protein in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis has not been clarified
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are in clinical trials for widespread indications including musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiac and haematological disorders. Furthermore, MSC can ameliorate pulmonary fibrosis in animal models although mechanisms of action remain unclear. One emerging concept is that MSCs may have paracrine, rather than a functional, roles in lung injury repair and regeneration.
To investigate the paracrine role of human MSC (hMSC) on pulmonary epithelial repair, hMSC-conditioned media (CM) and a selected cohort of hMSC-secretory proteins (identified by LC-MS/MS mass spectrometry) were tested on human type II alveolar epithelial cell line A549 cells (AEC) and primary human small airway epithelial cells (SAEC) using an in vitro scratch wound repair model. A 3D direct-contact wound repair model was further developed to assess the migratory properties of hMSC.
We demonstrate that MSC-CM facilitates AEC and SAEC wound repair in serum-dependent and –independent manners respectively via stimulation of cell migration. We also show that the hMSC secretome contains an array of proteins including Fibronectin, Lumican, Periostin, and IGFBP-7; each capable of influencing AEC and SAEC migration and wound repair stimulation. In addition, hMSC also show a strong migratory response to AEC injury as, supported by the observation of rapid and effective AEC wound gap closure by hMSC in the 3D model.
These findings support the notion for clinical application of hMSCs and/or their secretory factors as a pharmacoregenerative modality for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and other fibrotic lung disorders.
Respiratory research 01/2013; 14(1):9. DOI:10.1186/1465-9921-14-9 · 3.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore whether a new ultrasound-based technique correlates with mechanical and biological metrics that describe the tendon healing. Achilles tendons in 32 rats were unilaterally transected and allowed to heal without repair. At 7, 9, 14, or 29 days post-injury, tendons were collected and examined for healing via ultrasound image analysis, mechanical testing, and immunohistochemistry. Consistent with previous studies, we observe that the healing tendons are mechanically inferior (ultimate stress, ultimate load, and normalized stiffness) and biologically altered (cellular and ECM factors) compared to contralateral controls with an incomplete recovery over healing time. Unique to this study, we report: (1) Echo intensity (defined by gray-scale brightness in the ultrasound image) in the healing tissue is related to stress and normalized stiffness. (2) Elongation to failure is relatively constant so that tissue normalized stiffness is linearly correlated with ultimate stress. Together, 1 and 2 suggest a method to quantify mechanical compromise in healing tendons. (3) The amount and type of collagen in healing tendons associates with their strength and normalized stiffness as well as their ultrasound echo intensity. (4) A significant increase of periostin in the healing tissues suggests an important but unexplored role for this ECM protein in tendon healing.
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