Introduction: We have previously found an increased mast cell density in tendon biopsies from patients with patellar tendinopathy compared to controls. This study examined the influence of mast cells on basic tenocyte functions, including production of the inflammatory mediator prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), extracellular matrix remodeling and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) gene transcription, and collagen synthesis.Methods: Primary human tenocytes were stimulated with an established human mast cell line (HMC-1). Extracellular matrix remodeling was studied by culturing tenocytes in a three-dimensional collagen lattice. Survival/proliferation was assessed with the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium salt (MTS) assay. Levels of mRNA for COX-2, COL1A1, MMP1, and MMP7 were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Cox-2 protein level was assessed by Western blot analysis and type I procollagen was detected by immunofluorescent staining. PGE2 levels were determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).Results: Mast cells stimulated tenocytes to produce increased levels of COX-2 and the pro-inflammatory mediator PGE2, which in turn decreased COL1A1 mRNA expression. Additionally, mast cells reduced the type I procollagen protein levels produced by tenocytes. Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) was responsible for the induction of Cox-2 and PGE2 by tenocytes. Mast cells increased MMP1 and MMP7 transcription and increased the contraction of a three-dimensional collagen lattice by tenocytes, a phenomenon which was blocked by a pan-MMP inhibitor (Batimastat).Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that mast cell-derived PGE2 reduces collagen synthesis and enhances expression and activities of MMPs in human tenocytes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research operating grant. ASc was the recipient of a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Clinical Research Scholar salary award.
HB is a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia. ASh was a Research Assistant working in ASc’s laboratory. RM is a PhD student in Experimental Medicine. AL is the recipient of an Undergraduate Student Research Assistant award from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council. ASc is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy