Tendons are important tissues with unique mechanical properties necessary for their function. Tendon injuries require lengthy rehabilitation, with adult healing resulting in mechanically inferior scar tissue. A more complete understanding of the development of embryonic tendon may lead to advances in the field of tendon tissue engineering and regeneration. Mechanical properties of embryonic tendon are not dependent on the same factors as mature tendon, and during early development, embryonic tendon cells are maintained at a high density. They also contain actin filaments that increase in organization and span cells. These results suggest the importance of a tendon progenitor cell (TPC) network to emerging tendon functional properties. We examine the proliferation and apoptosis activities of resident TPCs as contributors to cell density maintenance. We characterize the TPC network by visualizing points of cell-cell contact via cell membrane staining as well as staining for the actin cytoskeleton. Finally, we characterize various cell-cell proteins as crosslinks in the TPC network and compare their expression and distribution. These data provide a deeper understanding of embryonic tendon development and the role of cellular contributions to the emerging functional characteristics of tendon.
|Advisor:||Kuo, Catherine K.|
|Commitee:||Kaplan, David L., Yelick, Pamela C.|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||MAI 55/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Molecular biology, Cellular biology, Biomedical engineering|
|Keywords:||Cell network, Embryonic, Tendon development, Tissue engineering|
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