Sex differences in tendon structure and function.

Sarver, DC, Kharaz, YA, Sugg, KB, Gumucio, JP, Comerford, E ORCID: 0000-0002-5244-6042 and Mendias, CL
(2017) Sex differences in tendon structure and function. Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society, 35 (10). pp. 2117-2126.

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Tendons play a critical role in the transmission of forces between muscles and bones, and chronic tendon injuries and diseases are among the leading causes of musculoskeletal disability. Little is known about sex-based differences in tendon structure and function. Our objective was to evaluate the mechanical properties, biochemical composition, transcriptome, and cellular activity of plantarflexor tendons from four month old male and female C57BL/6 mice using in vitro biomechanics, mass spectrometry-based proteomics, genome-wide expression profiling, and cell culture techniques. While the Achilles tendons of male mice were approximately 6% larger than female mice (P < 0.05), the cell density of female mice was around 19% larger than males (P < 0.05). No significant differences in mechanical properties (P > 0.05) of plantaris tendons were observed. Mass spectrometry proteomics analysis revealed no significant difference between sexes in the abundance of major extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins such as collagen types I (P = 0.30) and III (P = 0.68), but female mice had approximately two-fold elevations (P < 0.05) in less abundant ECM proteins such as fibronectin, periostin, and tenascin C. The transcriptome of male and female tendons differed by only 1%. In vitro, neither the sex of the serum that fibroblasts were cultured in, nor the sex of the ECM in which they were embedded, had profound effects on the expression of collagen and cell proliferation genes. Our results indicate that while male mice expectedly had larger tendons, male and female tendons have very similar mechanical properties and biochemical composition, with small increases in some ECM proteins and proteoglycans evident in female tendons. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: tendon, sex, mechanics, proteomics, transcriptomics
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 10:43
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 07:19
DOI: 10.1002/jor.23516
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