Background: Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome (GTPS) is the main reason for recalcitrant lateral hip pain. Gluteus medius and minimus tendinopathy plays a key role in this setting. An injectable medical compound containing collagen type I (MD-Tissue, Guna) has been produced with the aim to counteract the physiological and pathological degeneration of tendons. In this study we aimed at characterizing the effect of this medical compound on cultured human gluteal tenocytes, focusing on the collagen turnover pathways, in order to understand how this medical compound could influence tendon biology and healing.
Methods: Tenocytes were obtained from gluteal tendon fragments collected in eight patients without any gluteal tendon pathology undergoing total hip replacement through an anterior approach. Cell proliferation and migration were investigated by growth curves and wound healing assay, respectively. The expression of genes and proteins involved in collagen turnover were analysed by real-time PCR, Slot blot and SDS-zymography.
Results: Our data show that tenocytes cultured on MD-Tissue, compared to controls, have increased proliferation rate and migration potential. MD-Tissue induced collagen type I (COL-I) secretion and mRNA levels of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-1 (TIMP-1). Meanwhile, lysyl hydroxylase 2b and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-1 and -2, involved, respectively, in collagen maturation and degradation, were not affected.
Conclusions: Considered as a whole, our results suggest that MD-Tissue could induce in tenocytes an anabolic phenotype by stimulating tenocyte proliferation and migration and COL-I synthesis, maturation, and secretion, thus favouring tendon repair. In particular, based on its effect on gluteal tenocytes, MD-Tissue could be effective in the discouraging treatment of GTPS. From now a rigorous clinical investigation is desirable to understand the real clinical potentials of this compound.
Keywords: Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome; Tendinopathy; collagen turnover; cytoskeleton; focal adhesion; matrix metalloproteinases; tendon.