Thomas Jefferson University Research Magazine



Researchers have long known that with age, blood supply to tendon cells decreases, leaving them starved of oxygen. But knowing why this occurs and why it causes tendons to fray with age can be critically important to creating treatments that eliminate the need for surgery for tendinosis, a painful orthopedic condition.

An intriguing NIH GEMSSTAR-funded study by Rowena McBeath, MD, PhD, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, found that the paired reduction of oxygen supply and the signaling molecule Rac1 causes aged tendon cells to change shape and flexibility. The findings have broad implications for both injury prevention and tissue repair