Amelioration of experimental tendinopathy by lentiviral CD44 gene therapy targeting senescence-associated secretory phenotypes

Shih Yao Chen, I. Ming Jou, Po Yen Ko, Kai Lan Hsu, Wei Ren Su, Li Chieh Kuo, Pei Yuan Lee, Chao Liang Wu, Po Ting Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


CD44 exerts anti-senescence effects in many disease models. We examined senescence in tendinopathy and the effect of CD44 on senescence-associated secretory phenotypes (SASPs). Senescent markers were determined in human tendinopathic long head of bicep (LHB) and normal hamstring tendons. CD44 gene transfer in rat tendinopathic tenocytes stimulated with interleukin (IL)-1β and a rat Achilles tendinopathy model were performed using lentiviral vectors. Expression levels of p53, p21, and p16 and senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity were positively correlated with the severity of human tendinopathy and were higher in rat and human tendinopathic tenocytes than in normal controls. CD44 overexpressed tenocyte transfectants exhibited reduced levels of IL-6, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, p53, p21, p16, SA-β-gal, and phospho-nuclear factor (NF)-κB, whereas their collagen type I alpha 1 (COL1A1) and tenomodulin (tnmd) levels were increased when compared with control transfectants under IL-1β-stimulated conditions. In the animal model, CD44 overexpression lowered the ultrasound and histology scores and expression levels of the senescent and SASP markers COX-2 and phospho-NF-κB. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)- and tnmd-positive cell numbers were increased in the LVCD44-transduced tendinopathic tendons. Senescence is positively correlated with tendinopathic severity, and CD44 overexpression may protect the tendinopathic tendons from SASPs via anti-inflammation and maintenance of extracellular matrix homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Therapy Methods and Clinical Development
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sept 8

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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