Korean J Sports Med.  2020 Dec;38(4):217-224. 10.5763/kjsm.2020.38.4.217.

Biological Enhancement of Healing with Kartogenin Injection at the Tendon-to-Bone Interface in a Rat Rotator Cuff Tear Model

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Bio-Fibers and Materials Science, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of kartogenin (KGN) on the tendon-bone interface in a rat rotator cuff tear model.
Twenty male rats were divided into two equal groups; group 1 (repair only) and group 2 (KGN single injection). A rat rotator cuff rupture model was prepared, and KGN (500 μM) was injected into the repair site. The specimens were collected after 8 weeks, and biomechanical and histological analyses were performed. We assessed the healing quality of the tendon-to-bone repair site using six aspects of tendon tissue. The histological findings were classified semiquantitatively into four grades (grade 0, the poorest appearance; grade 1, poorer; grade 2, better; and grade 3, marked regeneration).
Group 2 showed a higher mean ultimate load to failure than the control group (group 1: 25.78±31.38 N, group 2: 55.64±36.02 N; p=0.011). On histological analysis, group 2 exhibited a significantly greater total score (group 1: 7.20±2.14, group 2: 9.50±1.84; p=0.019), collagen fiber continuity (group 1: 1.20±0.42, group 2: 1.70±0.48; p=0.024), and collagen fiber density (group 1: 1.50±0.52, group 2: 2.20±0.63; p=0.080). Metachromasia were more intense in group 2 than in the control group.
A single injection of KGN reinforces biomechanical strength and the formation of collagen and fibrocartilage at the tendon-to-bone interface in a rat rotator cuff tear model.


Collagen; Fibrocartilage; Kartogenin; Rotator cuff injuries
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