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Dex, Sarah; Alberton, Paolo; Willkomm, Lena; Söllradl, Thomas; Bago, Sandra; Milz, Stefan; Shakibaei, Mehdi; Ignatius, Anita; Bloch, Wilhelm; Clausen-Schaumann, Hauke; Shukunami, Chisa; Schieker, Matthias; Docheva, Denitsa (2017): Tenomodulin is Required for Tendon Endurance Running and Collagen I Fibril Adaptation to Mechanical Load. In: Ebiomedicine, Vol. 20: pp. 240-254
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Abstract

Tendons are dense connective tissues that attach muscles to bone with an indispensable role in locomotion because of their intrinsic properties of storing and releasing muscle-generated elastic energy. Tenomodulin (Tnmd) is a well-accepted gene marker for the mature tendon/ligament lineage and its loss-of -function in mice leads to a phenotype with distinct signs of premature aging on tissue and stem/progenitor cell levels. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that Tnmdmight be an important factor in the functional performance of tendons. Firstly, we revealed that Tnmd is amechanosensitive gene and that the C-terminus of the protein colocalizewith collagen I-type fibers in the extracellular matrix. Secondly, using an endurance training protocol, we compared Tnmd knockout mice with wild types and showed that Tnmd deficiency leads to significantly inferior running performance that further worsens with training. In these mice, endurance running was hindered due to abnormal response of collagen I cross-linking and proteoglycan genes leading to an inadequate collagen I fiber thickness and elasticity. In sum, our study demonstrates that Tnmd is required for proper tendon tissue adaptation to endurance running and aids in better understanding of the structural-functional relationships of tendon tissues. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.