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New Basic Science Study Finds Muscle-Derived Activated Endothelial Cells May Be Promising for Treatment of Soft Tissue Injuries

While rotator cuff tears are a common shoulder injury, there can be poor tendon healing after surgical repair. Cell-based approaches have shown potential in improving tendon-to-bone healing in these tears.

A new basic science study led by Scott A. Rodeo, MD, clinician-scientist at HSS, looked to evaluate the effects of the novel population of muscle-derived activated endothelial cells (mECs) implanted at the repair site to analyze the gene expression comprehensively by means of RNA sequencing. 

Through cell tracking, the researchers found that there were green fluorescent protein (GFP)-positive viable mECs at the repair site of the supraspinatus tendon (SST) at three days with decreasing positive cell numbers at seven days.

This is the first study to show that activated endothelial cells derived from muscle tissue can enhance healing of tendon-to-bone in as early as 14 days.

"This pre-clinical data demonstrates the potential for these cells to stimulate the intrinsic progenitor cells in tendons. Ultimately, umbilical vein endothelial cells can now be used in a clinical trial of patients undergoing rotator cuff repair," said Dr. Rodeo, who adds that further studies are needed to identify the ideal patient, timing of dosing, and best way to deliver the cells to treat various types of tissue injuries.

This paper received the Charles Neer award from the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Society (ASES) and was presented at ASES 2019 Specialty Day as part of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons conference.

Abstract Title: Muscle-Derived Activated Endothelial Cells as A New Cell Source to Enhance Tendon-To-Bone Healing: In Vivo Study In A Murine Rotator Cuff Repair Model

Authors: Scott A. Rodeo, MD; Susumu Wada, MD, PhD; Amir Lebaschi, MD; Yusuke Nakagawa, MD, PhD; Xiang-Hua Deng, MD; Camila Carballo, PhD, PT; Daniel Nemirov, BA; Dean Wang, MD; Zoe Album, BS; Liang Ying