Effect of disuse on the ultrastructure of the achilles tendon in rats
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We examined the influence exerted, through disuse of the hindlimb, on the collagen fibres of the achilles tendon in rats. With disuse the body mass decreased by 28%, and the mass of soleus muscle decreased by 20%. A decrease in the surface area and diameter was observed in the experimental group when compared to the control group. A histogram of the collagen fibres showed a decrease of the thick fibres in the experimental group. The maximum surface area of collagen fibres in the experimental group was seen to be only 43% of that of the control group. These results showed a decrease in the thickness of the collagen fibres of the achilles tendon through disuse. This seemed to suggest that resistance to tension is decreased by disuse.
Key wordsCollagen fibre Achilles tendon Disuse Atrophy Ultrastructure
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