Tendinopathy is the clinical diagnosis of pain, swelling, and impaired performance of the tendon, the tissue that connects muscle to bone.1,2
- Tendinopathy can encompass both inflammation of the tendon (tendinitis) and degeneration of the tendon (tendinosis).
- Epicondylitis, or pain in the wrist extensor tendons in the elbow, affects 1-3% of the population, with 10% of cases refractory at 6 months progressing to surgery.3
- The Achilles tendon at the ankle and the patellar tendon of the knee are also frequently affected.2
The Wnt pathway may play a role in the disease process of tendinopathy. In human studies and animal models of the disease, overexpression of Wnt proteins has been demonstrated.4,5
- The Wnt pathway is involved in the processes that determine if mesenchymal stem cells become tendon cells.
- Activated Wnt signaling has been shown to direct tendon derived stem cells away from a tendon cell fate.4 Additionally, activated Wnt signaling may lead to increased production of degradative proteases that contribute to the breakdown of tendon tissue.5
Inhibition of the Wnt pathway is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of tendinopathy.
- Khan KM, Cook J, Bonar F, et al. Histopathology of common tendinopathies: update and implications for clinical management. Sports Med. 1999;27:393-408.
- Maffulli N, Wong J, Almekinders LC. Types and epidemiology of tendinopathy. Clin Sports Med. 2003;20:675-92.
- Kaux JF, Forthomme B, Goff CL, et al. Current opinions on tendinopathy. J Sports Sci Med. 2011;10(2):238-53.
- Liu P, Lee YW, Wong YM, et al. Expression of Wnt pathway mediators in metaplasic tissue in animal model and clinical samples of tendinopathy. Rheumatology. 2013;52:1609-18.
- Jelinsky SA, Rodeo SA, Li J, et al. Regulation of gene expression in human tendinopathy. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2011;12:86.