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

2021   Volume No 44 – pages 90-100

Title: Physiological stretching induces a differential extracellular matrix gene expression response in acetabular labrum cells

Authors: S Huber, S Günther, E Cambria, M Leunig, SJ Ferguson

Address: Institute for Biomechanics, HPP O14, Hönggerbergring 64, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland

E-mail: stephanie.huber at

Abstract: The acetabular labrum is a fibrocartilaginous ring surrounding the acetabulum and is important for hip stability and contact pressure dissipation through a sealing function. Injury of the labrum may contribute to hip-joint degeneration and development of secondary osteoarthritis. Understanding how extracellular matrix (ECM) production and remodelling is regulated is of key importance for successful tissue restoration. The present study hypothesised that physiological stretching enhanced the metabolic activity and altered the ECM gene expression in labrum cells. Primary bovine labrum cells were physiologically stretched for up to 5 d. 24 h after the last stretch cycle, changes in metabolic activity were measured using the PrestoBlue™ HS Cell Viability Reagent and ECM gene expression was examined using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction method. Targets of interest were further investigated using immunofluorescence and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Metabolic activity was not affected by the stretching (0.9746 ± 0.0614, p > 0.05). Physiological stretching upregulated decorin (DCN) (1.8548 ± 0.4883, p = 0.002) as well as proteoglycan 4 (PRG4) (1.7714 ± 0.6600, p = 0.029) and downregulated biglycan (BGN) (0.7018 + 0.1567, p = 0.008), cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) (0.5747 ± 0.2650, p = 0.029), fibronectin (FN1) (0.5832 ± 0.0996, p < 0.001) and spondin 1 (SPON1) (0.6282 ± 0.3624, p = 0.044) gene expression. No difference in PRG4 and DCN abundance or release could be measured. The here identified mechanosensitive targets are known to play relevant roles in tissue organisation. Therefore, physiological stretching might play a role in labrum tissue homeostasis and regeneration.

Keywords: Labrum, hip, tissue remodelling, regeneration, extracellular matrix organisation, mechanical loading, stretching, cyclic tensile strain, mechanobiology, gene expression.

Publication date: October 3rd 2022

Article download: Pages 90-100 (PDF file)

Twitter Facebook Google LinkedIn Print