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High glucose concentration up-regulates the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and -13 in tendon cells

Wen-Chung Tsai12, Fang-Chen Liang1, Ju-Wen Cheng1, Li-Ping Lin1, Shih-Chieh Chang3, Hsiang-Hung Chen1 and Jong-Hwei S Pang4*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taoyuan, Taiwan

2 College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

3 School of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

4 Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:255  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-255

Published: 27 August 2013



Diabetes mellitus is associated with tendinopathy or tendon injuries. However, the mechanism underlying diabetic tendinopathy is unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of high glucose concentrations on the activity and expression of matrix metalloproteinases, type I collagen, and type III collagen in tendon cells.


Tendon cells from rat Achilles tendons were treated with 6 mM, 12 mM, and 25 mM glucose, and then cell proliferation was evaluated by the 3-[4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of MMP-2, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MMP-13 and type I and type III collagen was assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The enzymatic activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 was measured by gelatin zymography.


The MTT assay results showed that the glucose concentration did not affect tendon cell proliferation. The results of the real-time PCR assay revealed that the mRNA expression of MMP-9 and MMP-13 was up-regulated by treatment with 25 mM glucose, whereas the mRNA expression of type I and III collagen was not affected. Gelatin zymography showed that 25 mM glucose increased the enzymatic activity of MMP-9.


High glucose concentration up-regulates the expression of MMP-9 and MMP-13 in tendon cells, which may account for the molecular mechanisms underlying diabetic tendinopathy.

Glucose; Matrix metalloproteinase; Tendon