Author(s): Mendias CL, Gumucio JP, Lynch EB
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Abstract Tendons link skeletal muscles to bones and are important components of the musculoskeletal system. There has been much interest in the role of microRNA (miRNA) in the regulation of musculoskeletal tissues to mechanical loading, inactivity, and disease, but it was unknown whether miRNA is involved in the adaptation of tendons to mechanical loading. We hypothesized that mechanical loading and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) treatment would regulate the expression of several miRNA molecules with known roles in cell proliferation and extracellular matrix synthesis. To test our hypothesis, we subjected untrained adult rats to a single session of mechanical loading and measured the expression of several miRNA transcripts in Achilles tendons. Additionally, as TGF-β is known to be an important regulator of tendon growth and adaptation, we treated primary tendon fibroblasts with TGF-β and measured miRNA expression. Both mechanical loading and TGF-β treatment modulated the expression of several miRNAs that regulate cell proliferation and extracellular matrix synthesis. We also identified mechanosensitive miRNAs that may bind to the 3'-untranslated region of the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor scleraxis, which is a master regulator of limb tendon development. The results from this study provide novel insight into the mechanobiology of tendons and indicate that miRNA could play an important role in the adaptation of tendons to growth stimuli.
This article was published in J Appl Physiol (1985)
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy