Achilles tendon is one of the most commonly injured tendons. Mechanical force is regarded as a major causative factor. However, the biomechanics of Achilles tendon and mechanical mechanism of the injuries are unclear. Lubricin expresses at regions exposed to sliding motion and shear force in a number of tissues. This study investigated the distribution and concentration of lubricin in human Achilles tendons for better understanding the biomechanics of Achilles tendon. Achilles tendons were harvested from nine cadavers. Lubricin was extracted from various locations proximal to the calcaneal insertion and quantified with ELISA. The distribution of lubricin was investigated with immunohistochemistry. Lubricin was mainly identified at the interfaces of tendon fascicles, especially in the mid-portion of the tendon. The concentration of lubricin in Achilles tendons varied by individual and the distance from its calcaneal insertion. The distal portion of the tendon had a higher concentration of lubricin than the proximal regions of the tendon. This study suggests the presence of intratendinous sliding motion of fascicles and shear force at interfaces of fascicles in human Achilles tendon. Shear force could be an important mechanical factor for the development of Achilles tendinopathy and rupture.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine