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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 28

Antioxidants (Basel)



Mitochondrial Transplantation Modulates Inflammation and Apoptosis, Alleviating Tendinopathy Both In Vivo and In Vitro.


Lee J M, Hwang J, Kim M J, Jung S Y, Kim K-S, Ahn E H, Min K, Choi Y-S
Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Apr 28; 10(5).
PMID: 33925007.


Tendinopathy is a common musculoskeletal condition causing pain and dysfunction. Conventional treatment and surgical procedures for tendinopathy are insufficient; accordingly, recent research has focused on tendon-healing regenerative approaches. Tendon injuries usually occur in the hypoxic critical zone, characterized by increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction; thus, exogenous intact mitochondria may be therapeutic. We aimed to assess whether mitochondrial transplantation could induce anti-inflammatory activity and modulate the metabolic state of a tendinopathy model. Exogenous mitochondria were successfully delivered into damaged tenocytes by centrifugation. Levels of Tenomodulin and Collagen I in damaged tenocytes were restored with reductions in nuclear factor-κB and matrix metalloproteinase 1. The dysregulation of oxidative stress and mitochondrial membrane potential was attenuated by mitochondrial transplantation. Activated mitochondrial fission markers, such as fission 1 and dynamin-related protein 1, were dose-dependently downregulated. Apoptosis signaling pathway proteins were restored to the pre-damage levels. Similar changes were observed in a collagenase injection-induced rat model of tendinopathy. Exogenous mitochondria incorporated into the Achilles tendon reduced inflammatory and fission marker levels. Notably, collagen production was restored. Our results demonstrate the therapeutic effects of direct mitochondrial transplantation in tendinopathy. These effects may be explained by alterations in anti-inflammatory and apoptotic processes via changes in mitochondrial dynamics.