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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Mar 2024 - 7 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 04

Sci Rep




The rat as a novel model for chronic rotator cuff injuries.


Yuan T, Lai CT, Yang SQ, Meng J, Qian H, Yu X, Jiang H, Cao QG, Xu JD, Bao NR


Chronic rotator cuff injuries (CRCIs) still present a great challenge for orthopaedics surgeons. Many new therapeutic strategies are developed to facilitate repair and improve the healing process. However, there is no reliable animal model for chronic rotator cuff injury research. To present a new valuable rat model for future chronic rotator cuff injuries (CRCIs) repair studies, and describe the changes of CRCIs on the perspectives of histology, behavior and MRI. Sixty male Wistar rats were enrolled and underwent surgery of the left shoulder joint for persistent subacromial impingement. They were randomly divided into experimental group (n = 30, a 3D printed PEEK implant shuttled into the lower surface of the acromion) and sham operation group (n = 30, insert the same implant, but remove it immediately). Analyses of histology, behavior, MRI and inflammatory pain-related genes expression profiles were performed to evaluate the changes of CRCIs. After 2-weeks running, the rats in the experimental group exhibited compensatory gait patterns to protect the injured forelimb from loading after 2-weeks running. After 8-weeks running, the rats in the experimental group showed obvious CRCIs pathological changes: (1) acromion bone hyperplasia and thickening of the cortical bone; (2) supraspinatus muscle tendon of the humeral head: the bursal-side tendon was torn and layered with disordered structure, forming obvious gaps; the humeral-side tendon is partially broken, and has a neatly arranged collagen. Partial fat infiltration is found. The coronal T2-weighted images showed that abnormal tendon-to-bone junctions of the supraspinatus tendon. The signal intensity and continuity were destroyed with contracted tendon. At the nighttime, compared with the sham operation group, the expression level of IL-1β and COX-2 increased significantly (P = 0063, 0.0005) in the experimental group. The expression of COX-2 in experimental group is up-regulated about 1.5 times than that of daytime (P = 0.0011), but the expression of IL-1β, TNF-a, and NGF are all down-regulated (P = 0.0146, 0.0232, 0.0161). This novel rat model of chronic rotator cuff injuries has the similar characteristics with that of human shoulders. And it supplies a cost-effective, reliable animal model for advanced tissue engineered strategies and future therapeutic strategies.