Exploring Stem Cells and Inflammation in Tendon Repair and Regeneration

  • A. Vinhas
  • M. T. Rodrigues
  • M. E. GomesEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1089)


Tendon injuries are frequent and are responsible for substantial morbidity both in sports and in the workplace. Despite the endogenous mechanisms of tendon repair and regeneration, tendon healing upon injury is slow and often insufficient to restore complete biomechanics functionality.

Inflammation has a pivotal role in tendon healing and failed healing responses contribute to the progression of tendinopathies. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved are poorly understood requiring further insights.

During inflammation, bioactive molecules such as cytokines secreted locally at the injury site, influence resident stem cells that contribute as modulatory agents over the niche towards homeostasis, holding great promise as therapeutic agents for tendon pathological conditions associated to unresolved inflammation and failed healing.

This review overviews the role of cytokines and resident cells, focusing on the participation of tendon stem cell population in inflammation and tendon healing upon injury and their potential action in resolution of pathological conditions.


Cytokines Healing Inflammation Mechanical stimulation Pathology Repair Tendon Tenocytes 



connective tissue growth factor


extracelular matrix


matrix metalloproteinases


mesenchymal stem/stromal cell


nitric oxide


activator of transcription 3


tendon-derived stem cells



The authors acknowledge the financial support from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) for the doctoral grant PD/BD/128089/2016, the project NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000021 supported by Norte Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020) and HORIZON 2020 under the TEAMING GRANT agreement No 739572 – The Discoveries CTR.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Vinhas
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. T. Rodrigues
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. E. Gomes
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.3B’s Research Group, I3Bs – Research Institute on Biomaterials, Biodegradables and BiomimeticsUniversity of Minho, Headquarters of the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative MedicineGuimarãesPortugal
  2. 2.ICVS/3B’s – PT Government Associate LaboratoryBraga/GuimarãesPortugal
  3. 3.The Discoveries Centre for Regenerative and Precision Medicine, Headquarters at University of MinhoGuimarãesPortugal

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