Background: Rotator cuff tears are a cause of pain and disability in the shoulder. The molecular changes associated with rotator cuff tearing are unclear. A subset of matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase, which are involved in extracellular matrix remodeling and degradation, were evaluated.
Hypothesis: There would be an increase in the mRNA level of specific matrix metalloproteinase and a decrease in the mRNA level of specific tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase in rotator cuff tendon tissue obtained from patients with rotator cuff tears.
Study design: Controlled laboratory study.
Methods: Tissue was obtained from 10 patients undergoing rotator cuff repair for full-thickness rotator cuff tears. Also, tissue was obtained from cadaveric specimens with no gross evidence of rotator cuff tearing. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was performed for the collagenases (MMP-1, MMP-8, MMP-13), the stromelysins (MMP-3, MMP-10, MMP-11), and the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMP-1, TIMP-2, TIMP-3, TIMP-4). Western blotting was performed to confirm the mRNA changes demonstrated in collagenase-3 (MMP-13).
Results: There was a significant increase in collagenase-3 (MMP-13) mRNA levels, a decrease in stromelysin-1 (MMP-3) mRNA levels, and a decrease in tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2, -3, and -4 mRNA levels. Western blotting demonstrated an increase in the active form of collagenase-3 (MMP-13) in rotator cuff tendon tears.
Conclusions: The mRNA levels of specific matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase are altered in torn rotator cuff tendons.
Clinical relevance: With the known action of the matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase in extra-cellular matrix remodeling, these findings suggest that their roles in remodeling of rotator cuff tears should be further investigated.
Copyright 2004 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine