eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2012   Volume No 24 – pages 74-89

Title: Influence of age on the cell biological characteristics and the stimulation potential of male human tenocyte-like cells

Author: F Klatte-Schulz, S Pauly, M Scheibel, S Greiner, C Gerhardt, G Schmidmaier, B Wildemann

Address: Julius Wolff Institute, Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, D-13353 Berlin, Germany

E-mail: Britt.Wildemann at

Key Words: Tenocyte-like cells, age; rotator cuff; BMP-2; BMP-7; 2D-culture; 3D-culture.

Publication date: July 12th 2012

Abstract: The incidence of rotator cuff tears and recurrent defects positively correlate with patient age. However, this observation has never been analysed at the cellular level. The present study aims to better understand this correlation by investigating cellular characteristics of rotator cuff tenocytes of different age groups. Additionally, previous studies reported on stimulating effects of Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) -2 and BMP-7 on tenocytes. Thus, the second aim was to investigate, whether the stimulation potential of tenocytes demonstrates age-related differences.
Tenocyte-like cells from supraspinatus tendons of young and aged patients were analysed for the following cell biological characteristics: cell density, cell growth, marker expression, collagen-I protein synthesis, stem cell phenotype, potential for multipotent differentiation and self-renewal. To analyse the stimulation potential, cells were treated with BMP-2 and BMP-7 in 2D-/3D-cultures. Measured parameters included cell activity, marker expression and collagen-I protein synthesis.
An effect of age was seen for cell growth and stem cell potential but not on extracellular matrix level. Cells from both groups responded to BMP-7 by increasing cell activity, collagen-I expression and protein synthesis. BMP-2 led to smaller increases in these parameters when compared to BMP-7. In general, 3D-cultivation improved the stimulation compared to 2D-culture.
The cell biological characteristics of tenocyte-like cells, considered important for successful restoration of the tendon-bone unit, were inferior in elderly donors. This may help explain higher rates of recurrent defects seen in elderly patients. Regarding the stimulation potential, on a cellular level young and aged patients may benefit from biological augmentation with BMPs.


Article download: Pages 74-89 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v024a06