MicroRNA29a Treatment Improves Early Tendon Injury. Academic Article uri icon


  • Tendon injuries (tendinopathies) are common in human and equine athletes and characterized by dysregulated collagen matrix, resulting in tendon damage. We have previously demonstrated a functional role for microRNA29a (miR29a) as a post-transcriptional regulator of collagen 3 expression in murine and human tendon injury. Given the translational potential, we designed a randomized, blinded trial to evaluate the potential of a miR29a replacement therapy as a therapeutic option to treat tendinopathy in an equine model that closely mimics human disease. Tendon injury was induced in the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) of 17 horses. Tendon lesions were treated 1week later with an intralesional injection of miR29a or placebo. miR29a treatment reduced collagen 3 transcript levels at week 2, with no significant changes in collagen 1. The relative lesion cross-sectional area was significantly lower in miR29a tendons compared to control tendons. Histology scores were significantly better for miR29a-treated tendons compared to control tendons. These data support the mechanism of microRNA-mediated modulation of early pathophysiologic events that facilitate tissue remodeling in the tendon after injury and provides a strong proof of principle that a locally delivered miR29a therapy improves early tendon healing.

published proceedings

  • Mol Ther

altmetric score

  • 9.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Watts, A. E., Millar, N. L., Platt, J., Kitson, S. M., Akbar, M., Rech, R., ... Gilchrist, D. S.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Watts, Ashlee E||Millar, Neal L||Platt, Josh||Kitson, Susan M||Akbar, Moeed||Rech, Raquel||Griffin, Jay||Pool, Roy||Hughes, Tom||McInnes, Iain B||Gilchrist, Derek S

publication date

  • October 2017