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LLLT improves tendon healing through increase of MMP activity and collagen synthesis

Abstract

The Achilles tendon has a high incidence of rupture, and the healing process leads to a disorganized extracellular matrix (ECM) with a high rate of injury recurrence. To evaluate the effects of different conditions of low-level laser (LLL) application on partially tenotomized tendons, adult male rats were divided into the following groups: G1, intact; G2, injured; G3, injured + LLL therapy (LLLT; 4 J/cm2 continuous); G4, injured + LLLT (4 J/cm2, 20 Hz); G5, injured; G6, injured + LLLT (4 J/cm2 continuous); and G7, injured + LLLT (4 J/cm2, 20 Hz until the 7th day and 2 kHz from 8 to 14 days). G2, G3, and G4 were euthanized 8 days after injury, and G5, G6, and G7 were euthanized on the 15th day. The quantification of hydroxyproline (HOPro) and non-collagenous protein (NCP), zymography for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9, and Western blotting (WB) for collagen types I and III were performed. HOPro levels showed a significant decrease in all groups (except G7) when compared with G1. The NCP level increased in all transected groups. WB for collagen type I showed an increase in G4 and G7. For collagen type III, G4 presented a higher value than G2. Zymography for MMP-2 indicated high values in G4 and G7. MMP-9 increased in both treatment groups euthanized at 8 days, especially in G4. Our results indicate that the pulsed LLLT improved the remodeling of the ECM during the healing process in tendons through activation of MMP-2 and stimulation of collagen synthesis.

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Correspondence to Flávia Da Ré Guerra.

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Guerra, F.D.R., Vieira, C.P., Almeida, M.S. et al. LLLT improves tendon healing through increase of MMP activity and collagen synthesis. Lasers Med Sci 28, 1281–1288 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-012-1236-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-012-1236-7

Keywords

  • Achilles tendon
  • Rupture
  • LLLT
  • Collagen
  • Matrix metalloproteinase 9
  • Matrix metalloproteinase 2