Although the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) tendon's gliding resistance is low, the lubrication mechanism that enables this is unclear. The principal lubricants in joints, such as hyaluronic acid, phospholipids, and lubricin, a lubricating glycoprotein, are known to be present in the canine tendon. In this study, we assessed the effect of these lubricants in the tendon by measuring gliding resistance before and after their removal. Canine FDP tendons were treated with hyaluronidase, phospholipase, lipid solvent, and/or trypsin. The gliding resistance of FDP tendons significantly increased after all treatments (p < 0.05). The largest effect on gliding resistance was observed after trypsin digestion. Scanning electron microscopy and immunostaining for hyaluronic acid and lubricin were used to qualitatively assess the tendon surface after treatments. The trypsin digestion produced the most irregular surface, with many exposed collagen fibers. The results of this study suggest that phospholipids, hyaluronic acid, and protein components are all involved in maintaining the low gliding resistance of the FDP tendon.
- Hyaluronic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine