Development and use of animal models to advance tendinopathy research

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2009 Jan 1;14(12):4588-97. doi: 10.2741/3551.


Tendon overuse resulting in the development of tendinopathy is a common and significant clinical problem. Until recently, the pathology underlying tendinopathy was thought to be associated with inflammation and was subsequently categorized as 'tendinitis'. However, histopathological studies have indicated the underlying pathology to be one of failed healing or degeneration ('tendinosis'). This clarification and correct labeling of the pathology has substantially altered clinical thinking and management of tendon overuse conditions. It has also stimulated interest in new lines of tendon research. To rapidly understand more about clinical tendinopathy, there is a need for validated animals of the underlying pathology. This paper discusses the use of animal models in tendinopathy research. It discusses the benefits and development of animal models of tendinopathy, highlights outcome measures that may be used in animal tendon research, reviews current animal models of tendinopathy, and discusses methods to enhance outcomes from animal models. With further development of animal models of tendinopathy, new strategies for the prevention and treatment of tendinopathy in humans may be generated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Tendon Injuries / pathology*
  • Tendon Injuries / therapy
  • Tendons / pathology*
  • Treatment Outcome