It generally is recognized that tensile load plays a major role in maintaining the homeostasis of the anterior cruciate ligament fibers, but its detailed mechanism remains a matter of controversy. The effects of cyclic tensile load on the metabolism of the anterior cruciate ligament were investigated experimentally using cultured cells from the anterior cruciate ligament of rabbits. Using culture plates with flexible rubber bases, a cyclic tensile load was applied to the cultured cells for 24 hours, and the changes in shape, alignment, and metabolism of the cells were analyzed. Under the cyclic tensile load, the shape of the cells from the anterior cruciate ligament changed to spindle and aligned perpendicularly to the direction of the tensile load. The cyclic tensile load also caused an increase in collagen synthesis by the cells from the anterior cruciate ligament, which was predominant in Type I. The cells from the synovium showed similar changes in shape and alignment under the cyclic tensile load, but no significant change was observed in cell metabolism. These observations suggest that the application of cyclic tensile load on the anterior cruciate ligament cells is an important factor in the regulation of collagen synthesis in the anterior cruciate ligament.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine