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Effect of laser therapy associated with platelet-rich plasma on the extracellular matrix of tendons and ligaments in horses


The healing of ligament and tendon injury is slow and often inefficient. Once damaged, the suspensory ligament (SL) and the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) are unlikely to recover its unique biomechanical properties. Desmopathy and tendinopathy exhibit similar pathological features include increased levels of proteoglycans, water content and cellularity, as well as disruption and separation of collagen fibrils. It is also known that the synthesis and catabolism of proteoglycans in desmitis and tendinitis may influence disease progression. However, the role of proteoglycans in normal tendons and ligaments are damaged or poorly understood both in humans and in horses. This work aims to characterize and standardize the distribution of proteoglycans aggrecan, decorin, biglican and fibromodulin in normal SL and SDFT and those under the influence of physical exercise. In addition, we intend to evaluate the effect of laser therapy associated with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on the distribution of aggrecan, decorin and collagen in tendon and ligament injuries experimentally induced in horses. For this purpose, samples of normal SL and SDFT and from horses under exercise will be harvested. Also, damage to the SL and SDFT will be induced by collagenase in the proximal region of the SL and the middle third of the SDFT in different groups of horses. The laser treatment will be performed locally and PRP will be performed intralesional. During the experiment the animals will be monitored weekly by physical examination and ultrasound, as well as through computerized kinematic analysis, and samples of the SDFT and the SL will be collected by biopsy after treatment. (AU)

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