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  • Author or Editor: M. Gerard O'Sullivan x
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OBJECTIVE To evaluate the biochemical and biomechanical properties of native and decellularized superficial digital flexor tendons (SDFTs) and deep digital flexor tendons (DDFTs) harvested from the pelvic limbs of orthopedically normal dogs.

SAMPLE 22 commercially supplied tendon specimens (10 SDFT and 12 DDFT) harvested from the pelvic limbs of 13 canine cadavers.

PROCEDURES DNA, glycosaminoglycan, collagen, and protein content were measured to biochemically compare native and decellularized SDFT and DDFT specimens. Mechanical testing was performed on 4 groups consisting of native tendons (5 SDFTs and 6 DDFTs) and decellularized tendons (5 SDFTs and 6 DDFTs). All tendons were preconditioned, and tension was applied to failure at 0.5 mm/s. Failure mode was video recorded for each tendon. Load-deformation and stress-strain curves were generated; calculations were performed to determine the Young modulus and stiffness. Biochemical and biomechanical data were statistically compared by use of the Wilcoxon rank sum test.

RESULTS Decellularized SDFT and DDFT specimens had significantly less DNA content than did native tendons. No significant differences were identified between native and decellularized specimens with respect to glycosaminoglycan, collagen, or protein content. Biomechanical comparison yielded no significant intra- or intergroup differences. All DDFT constructs failed at the tendon-clamp interface, whereas nearly half (4/10) of the SDFT constructs failed at midsubstance.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Decellularized commercial canine SDFT and DDFT specimens had similar biomechanical properties, compared with each other and with native tendons. The decellularization process significantly decreased DNA content while minimizing loss of extracellular matrix components. Decellularized canine flexor tendons may provide suitable, biocompatible graft scaffolds for bioengineering applications such as tendon or ligament repair.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To investigate protein kinase CK2 (CK2) expression in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of cats and to examine effects of CK2 downregulation on in vitro apoptosis and viability in SCC.

SAMPLE Biopsy specimens of oral mucosa and testis and blood samples from clinically normal cats, biopsy specimens of oral SCC from cats, and feline SCC (SCCF1) and mammary gland carcinoma (K12) cell lines.

PROCEDURES Immunohistochemical labeling for CK2α was performed on biopsy specimens. Sequences of the CK2α subunit gene and CK2α’ subunit gene in feline blood and feline cancer cell lines were determined by use of PCR and reverse-transcription PCR assays followed by direct Sanger sequencing. Specific small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) were developed for feline CK2α and CK2α'. The SCCF1 cells were treated with siRNA and assessed 72 hours later for CK2α and CK2α’ expression and markers of apoptosis (via western blot analysis) and for viability (via 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-5-[3-carboxymethoxyphenyl]-2-[4-sulfophenyl]-2H-tetrazolium assays).

RESULTS CK2α was expressed in all feline oral mucosa samples and 7 of 8 oral SCC samples. Expression of CK2α and CK2α’ was successfully downregulated in SCCF1 cells by use of siRNAs, which resulted in decreased viability and induction of apoptosis.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In this study, CK2 appeared to be a promising therapeutic target for SCCs of cats. A possible treatment strategy for SCCs of cats would be RNA interference that targets CK2.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research