European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 113, Issue 8, pp 2101–2109 | Cite as

No inflammatory gene-expression response to acute exercise in human Achilles tendinopathy

  • Jessica PingelEmail author
  • Ulrich Fredberg
  • Lone Ramer Mikkelsen
  • Peter Schjerling
  • Katja Maria Heinemeier
  • Michael Kjaer
  • Adrian Harisson
  • Henning Langberg
Original Article


Although histology data favour the view of a degenerative nature of tendinopathy, indirect support for inflammatory reactions to loading in affected tendons exists. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate whether inflammatory signalling responses after acute mechanical loading were more pronounced in tendinopathic versus healthy regions of human tendon and if treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID’s) reduces this response. Twenty-seven tendinopathy patients (>6 months) were randomly assigned to a placebo (n = 14) or NSAID (Ibumetin NYCOMED GmbH Plant Oranienburg Germany (600 mg) × 3/day/1 week) group (n = 13) in a double-blinded-fashion. Tendon biopsies were taken from the painful and a healthy region of the same tendon 2 h after 1 h running. Gene-expression of several targets was analysed in the sampled Achilles tendon biopsies. The mRNA for TGF-\(\beta\), collagen-I and collagen-III were significantly higher expressed, and decorin, CTGF, IL-6 and IL-10 were significantly lower expressed in the tendinopathic versus healthy tendon area. Only IL-10 was lower in expression in experiments with NSAID administration, while all other determined parameters were unaffected by NSAID. All ultrasonographic outcomes were unchanged in response to acute exercise and not influenced by NSAID. The signalling for collagen and TGF-beta was upregulated after acute loading in tendinopathic tendon. In contrast to the hypothesis, inflammatory signalling was not exaggerated in tendinopathic tendon 2 h after acute mechanical loading.


Tendinopathy Inflammation NSAIDs Gene-expression Collagen Exercise 



This study was supported by grants from the Danish Rheumatism Association, The Novo Nordic Foundation, the Danish Ministry of Culture Committee for Sports Research, the Danish Medical Research Counsel (22-04-0191) and the Nordea foundation (Healthy Aging grant). We are grateful to Burt Farber, for reading and correcting this manuscript.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflicts of interests in the present results.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Pingel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ulrich Fredberg
    • 2
  • Lone Ramer Mikkelsen
    • 3
  • Peter Schjerling
    • 1
  • Katja Maria Heinemeier
    • 1
  • Michael Kjaer
    • 1
  • Adrian Harisson
    • 4
  • Henning Langberg
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery M. Bispebjerg Hospital and Center for Healthy Aging, Faculty of Health Sciences, Institute of Sports Medicine CopenhagenUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen NVDenmark
  2. 2.Diagnostic CentreSilkeborg Region HospitalSilkeborgDenmark
  3. 3.Department of PhysiotherapySilkeborg Region HospitalSilkeborgDenmark
  4. 4.IBHV, Faculty of Life SciencesCopenhagen UniversityCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Public Health and Centre for Healthy Aging, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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