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, 45 (7), 834-837

Mini-Review: Toxic Tendinopathy


Mini-Review: Toxic Tendinopathy

Brad Bolon. Toxicol Pathol.


Toxic tendinopathy is a rare but reproducible complication in humans, given agents of four drug classes: aromatase inhibitors, fluoroquinolone antibiotics, glucocorticoids (long-term regimens), and statins. Toxic tendinopathy in humans has been linked less consistently to treatment with anabolic steroids, antiretroviral agents (mainly protease inhibitors), metalloproteinase inhibitors (MMPI), and isotretinoin. Classic drug-induced tendinopathies appear as "tendinosis" (i.e., progressive tendon degeneration without inflammation), although cases associated with aromatase inhibitors exhibit mainly tenosynovitis. Any tendon may be affected, but fluoroquinolones, glucocorticoids, and statins most frequently affect large load-bearing tendons in the lower limb, especially the calcaneal ("Achilles") tendon-which ruptures in approximately 30 to 40% of cases. The time to symptom onset ranges from days (fluoroquinolones) to weeks, months, or even years. The pathogenesis is incompletely understood, but proposed mechanisms include apoptosis of tenoblasts and tenocytes, deficient tenocyte function (leading to abnormal extracellular matrix maintenance and repair as well as disrupted intercellular signaling), and structural disintegration (via a combination of increased expression of lytic enzymes, lessened cholesterol content in cell membranes, and neoangiogenesis within highly ordered tendon tissue). Nonclinical safety assessment of therapeutic candidates in these drug classes should incorporate tendon routinely as a protocol-specified tissue for pathology evaluation.

Keywords: review; tendinopathy; tendinosis; tendon; toxic tendinopathy; toxicity.

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