Low-intensity tensile loading increases intratendinous glucose uptake in the Achilles tendon, 2006

Topics: tendon metabolism; tendon mechanical function; connective tissue; imaging

Authors: J Bojsen-Møller, K K Kalliokoski, M Seppänen, M Kjaer, S P Magnusson

Abstract

The metabolic activity of tendinous tissues has traditionally been considered to be of limited magnitude. However, recent studies have suggested that glucose uptake increases in the force-transmitting tissues as a response to contractile loading, which in turn indicates an elevated tissue metabolism. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether such a mechanism could be observed for the human Achilles tendon following tensile loading. Six subjects participated in the study. Unilateral Achilles tendon loading was applied by 25-min intermittent voluntary plantar flexor contractions. A radioactive tracer (I18F]-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose) was administered during muscle action, and glucose uptake was measured by use of PET. Regions of interest were defined on the PET images corresponding to the cross section of Achilles tendon at two longitudinally separated sites (insertion and free tendon). Glucose uptake index was determined within respective regions of interest for the active and resting leg. Tendon force during voluntary contractions was 13% of maximal voluntary contraction force. Tendon loading induced an elevated glucose uptake index compared with that of the contralateral resting tendon in the region of tendon insertion (0.13 +- 0.05 vs. 0.09 +- 0.02; P < 0.05) and at the free tendon (0.12 +- 0.01 vs. 0.08 +- 0.02; P < 0.05). The present data suggest that tissue metabolism is elevated in the human Achilles tendon in response to low-intensity loading.

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