Published online Sep 26, 2020. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v12.i9.952
Peer-review started: April 3, 2020
First decision: April 22, 2020
Revised: May 6, 2020
Accepted: July 19, 2020
Article in press: July 19, 2020
Published online: September 26, 2020
Tendon is a mechanosensitive tissue that transmits force from muscle to bone. Physiological loading contributes to maintaining the homeostasis and adaptation of tendon, but aberrant loading may lead to injury or failed repair. It is shown that stem cells respond to mechanical loading and play an essential role in both acute and chronic injuries, as well as in tendon repair. In the process of mechanotransduction, mechanical loading is detected by mechanosensors that regulate cell differentiation and proliferation via several signaling pathways. In order to better understand the stem-cell response to mechanical stimulation and the potential mechanism of the tendon repair process, in this review, we summarize the source and role of endogenous and exogenous stem cells active in tendon repair, describe the mechanical response of stem cells, and finally, highlight the mechanotransduction process and underlying signaling pathways.
Core Tip: Stem cells and mechanical loading are crucial to tendon injuries. In this review, we summarize the sources and roles of endogenous and exogenous stem cells for tendon repair, describe the mechanical response of stem cells, and finally highlight the mechanotransduction process and underlying signaling pathways. The deeper understanding of interactions between stem cells and mechanical loading offers great potential for the development of new therapeutic strategies for tendon repair.