Expression of growth factors in the early phase of supraspinatus tendon healing in rabbits

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. May-Jun 2006;15(3):371-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2005.09.003.


Growth factors are known to appear during wound healing. We hypothesized that growth factors would also appear during the healing process of a rotator cuff tear. We determined the expression of various growth factors during healing of acute rotator cuff tears in the rabbit. We made a full-thickness defect in the supraspinatus tendon of 27 Japanese white rabbits. The shoulders were harvested on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 21, and 28 postoperatively (n = 3 at each time point). We assessed the expression of basic fibroblast growth factor, insulin-like growth factor 1, platelet-derived growth factor, and transforming growth factor beta. Basic fibroblast growth factor appeared with its peak on days 7 and 9, insulin-like growth factor 1 appeared with its peak on day 5, platelet-derived growth factor appeared with a mild expression between days 7 and 14, and transforming growth factor beta appeared with constant mild expression throughout the observation period. It is likely that each of these growth factors plays a role in the early phase of healing of the supraspinatus tendon in rabbits.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / biosynthesis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / biosynthesis
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / biosynthesis
  • Rabbits
  • Rotator Cuff / pathology
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Tendon Injuries / metabolism*
  • Tendon Injuries / pathology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / biosynthesis
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I