Publication Date



International Journal of Molecular Sciences


Because equine tendinopathies are slow to heal and often recur, therapeutic strategies are being considered that aid tendon repair. Given the success of utilizing vitamin C to promote tenogenesis in other species, we hypothesized that vitamin C supplementation would produce dose-dependent improvements in the tenogenic properties of tendon proper (TP) and peritenon (PERI) cells of the equine superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT). Equine TP- and PERI-progenitor-cell-seeded fibrin three-dimensional constructs were supplemented with four concentrations of vitamin C. The gene expression profiles of the constructs were assessed with 3'-Tag-Seq and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR); collagen content and fibril ultrastructure were also analyzed. Moreover, cells were challenged with dexamethasone to determine the levels of cytoprotection afforded by vitamin C. Expression profiling demonstrated that vitamin C had an anti-inflammatory effect on TP and PERI cell constructs. Moreover, vitamin C supplementation mitigated the degenerative pathways seen in tendinopathy and increased collagen content in tendon constructs. When challenged with dexamethasone in two-dimensional culture, vitamin C had a cytoprotective effect for TP cells but not necessarily for PERI cells. Future studies will explore the effects of vitamin C on these cells during inflammation and within the tendon niche in vivo.


Animals, Horses, Tendons, Collagen, Tissue Engineering, Tendinopathy, Ascorbic Acid, Dexamethasone



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