Fibronectin in the tendon-synovial complex: quantitation in vivo and in vitro by ELISA and relative mRNA levels by polymerase chain reaction and northern blot.
An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to quantitate fibronectin (Fn) levels in the outer synovia (epitenon) and internal fibrous portion (endotenon) of chicken flexor tendon and sheath. Primary cell cultures from these tissues and their secretions also were assayed for Fn levels. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to determine relative steady-state levels of Fn mRNA in primary cultures of synovial and internal fibroblasts from chicken tendon, and Northern blot analysis was performed to verify relative levels of the Fn message. The epitenon contained 3.8-fold more Fn than did the endotenon, and the sheath synovium contained 21-fold more Fn than did the internal fibrous portion of sheath. Cells cultured from the epitenon produced 9.3 and 13-fold more cell-associated and secreted Fn, respectively, than did cultured endotenon fibroblasts. Sheath synovial cells produced 17 and 3.2-fold more cell-associated and secreted Fn, respectively, than did sheath internal fibroblasts. Levels of Fn mRNA, as measured by PCR and Northern blot, were 1.6 and 1.8-fold greater, respectively, in tendon synovial cells compared with tendon internal fibroblasts. The biologic reason for increased Fn in tendon synovium is not known. We theorize that Fn may stabilize tendon synovium to shear stress and may play a role in the modulation of synovial rheology in the normal tendon. In the injured tendon, Fn may be involved in the organization of collagen deposition or may act through association with growth factors to aid healing.
Brigman, BE; Hu, P; Yin, H; Tsuzaki, M; Lawrence, WT; Banes, AJ
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