NSAIDs are often ingested to reduce the pain and improve regeneration of tendon after tendon injury. Although the effects of NSAIDs in tendon healing have been reported, the data and conclusions are not consistent. Recently, tendon-derived stem cells (TDSCs) have been isolated from tendon tissues and has been suggested involved in tendon repair. Our study aims to determine the effects of COX-2 inhibitor (celecoxib) on the proliferation and tenocytic differentiation of TDSCs. TDSCs were isolated from mice Achilles tendon and exposed to celecoxib. Cell proliferation rate was investigated at various concentrations (0.1, 1, 10 and 100 μg/ml) of celecoxib by using hemocytometer. The mRNA expression of tendon associated transcription factors, tendon associated collagens and tendon associated molecules were determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The protein expression of Collagen I, Collagen III, Scleraxis and Tenomodulin were determined by Western blotting. The results showed that celecoxib has no effects on TDSCs cell proliferation in various concentrations (p>0.05). The levels of most tendon associated transcription factors, tendon associated collagens and tendon associated molecules genes expression were significantly decreased in celecoxib (10 μg/ml) treated group (p<0.05). Collagen I, Collagen III, Scleraxis and Tenomodulin protein expression were also significantly decreased in celecoxib (10 μg/ml) treated group (p<0.05). In conclusion, celecoxib inhibits tenocytic differentiation of tendon-derived stem cells but has no effects on cell proliferation.
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