Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology

Do different tendons exhibit the same response following chronic exposure to statins?

PMID 28112540


Over the past few years, a number of cases of tendon injuries associated with statin therapy have been reported. In this study, we assessed whether statins can affect the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) and patellar tendon (PT). Wistar rats were assigned to groups treated with atorvastatin (A20, A80), treated with simvastatin (S20, S80), and control. Zymography, Western blotting for collagen I, non-collagenous proteins (NCP), glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and hydroxyproline quantifications were performed. DDFT findings: NCP were increased in A20 and A80; higher concentration of hydroxyproline was found in S80; levels of GAGs was increased in all statin-treated groups; collagen I was increased in S80 and pro-MMP-2 activity was reduced in A80, S20, and S80. PT findings: NCP were reduced in A20, A80, and S80; GAGs was reduced in A80 and S20; collagen I was increased in A20 and pro-MMP-2 activity was reduced in the S20. Both the statins provoked marked changes in both tendons. All these changes may make the tendons more prone to microdamage and ruptures. Therefore, a better understanding of the behavior of the tendon ECM components under statin therapy may provide important insights into the mechanisms behind statin-induced tendon injuries.