Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess inflammation and the presence and relative levels of cytokines, which may be involved in regulating early human Achilles tendon healing. Methods: Nine patients with acute Achilles tendon rupture were included, operated on and post-operatively immobilized. Two weeks post-operatively, microdialysis of the peritendinous interstitial compartment was performed in the healing and intact contralateral Achilles tendons. Quantification of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70 and IL-17A was accomplished using a cytometric bead array. Prostaglandin (PG) E2 levels were measured by enzyme immunoassay. Results: None of the patients displayed detectable PGE2 levels. Pro-inflammatory cytokines were below detection levels (IFNγ, IL-12, and IL-17) or did not differ between injured and control tendons (IL-1β and TNF). Notably, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 concentrations in the healing Achilles tendon were significantly elevated: 13-fold (p = 0.009), 28-fold (p = 0.02), and 3.7-fold (p = 0.03), respectively. Conclusion: At 2 weeks post-human Achilles tendon rupture, healing is characterized by a resolving inflammatory phase and up-regulation of IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10. The absence of inflammation suggests that at this time point, these cytokines may be associated with anti-inflammatory and regenerative effects on the tendon healing process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine