Inhibition of tendon cell proliferation and matrix glycosaminoglycan synthesis by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in vitro

J Hand Surg Br. 2001 Jun;26(3):224-8. doi: 10.1054/jhsb.2001.0560.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of some commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on human tendon. Explants of human digital flexor and patella tendons were cultured in medium containing pharmacological concentrations of NSAIDs. Cell proliferation was measured by incorporation of 3H-thymidine and glycosaminoglycan synthesis was measured by incorporation of 35S-Sulphate. Diclofenac and aceclofenac had no significant effect either on tendon cell proliferation or glycosaminoglycan synthesis. Indomethacin and naproxen inhibited cell proliferation in patella tendons and inhibited glycosaminoglycan synthesis in both digital flexor and patella tendons. If applicable to the in vivo situation, these NSAIDs should be used with caution in the treatment of pain after tendon injury and surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Cell Division / drug effects*
  • Culture Techniques
  • Diclofenac / analogs & derivatives
  • Diclofenac / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Glycosaminoglycans / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Naproxen / pharmacology
  • Tendons / cytology*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • glucosaminoglycans
  • Diclofenac
  • Naproxen
  • aceclofenac
  • Indomethacin