, Volume 130, Issue 12, pp 1451-1457
Date: 04 Feb 2010

Metrenperone enhances collagen turnover and remodeling in the early stages of healing of tendon injury in rabbit

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This study evaluated the effects of metrenperone on healing of unilateral, collagenase-induced lesions in the Superficial Digital Flexor Tendons (SDFT) of rabbits.


After controlled injury of the left SDFT, nine rabbits received daily treatment with metrenperone for 28 days. Another nine were untreated controls; in both groups the contra-lateral tendons served as uninjured controls. Histological and ultrastructural changes, mechanical properties, dry weight, collagen content, and amount of DNA in healing and control tendons were assessed 28 days after injury.


Restoration of structural hierarchy was more organized in treated than in untreated tendons while cellularity was greater in the latter. At the ultrastructural level, collagen in treated lesions was predominantly in the form of small-diameter, new fibrils, with few large, old fibrils; in untreated lesions there was a high proportion of large, old fibrils but relatively few small, new ones. The amount of DNA in untreated injuries was much greater than in normal tendons, while in treated lesions it was not significantly different from that of uninjured controls. There were no significant differences in total collagen, stiffness and ultimate strength of injured, treated, and untreated tendons 28 days after injury. Both were significantly weaker than their corresponding contralaterals.


The findings suggest that metrenperone had positive effects on collagen turnover, remodelling, and organization during acute inflammation and fibroplasia. Provided that the new fibrils subsequently matured in a normal manner, mechanical characteristics of the organized scar should be better than those of an untreated lesion.