Introduction Cruciate ligament ruptures and shoulder dislocations are often caused by trauma, but predisposing intrinsic factors might also influence the risk. Decorin and biglycan are members of the small leucine rich proteoglycans (SLRP's) family which are important constituents of interstitial extracellular matrices (ECM) and play important roles in the regulation of collagen fibrillogenesis. Their deficiency could influence wound healing and integrity of skin and muscle. The aim of this study was to localise Decorin and Biglycan in skin, hamstring tendons and shoulder capsules.
Patients and methods Localisation of decorin and biglycan was studied by immunohistochemical staining of paraffin embedded sections of skin, tendons and capsules of the patients attending for shoulder stabilisation or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction between November 2008 and July 2009.
Results 40 patients were studied, 25 undergoing primary ACL reconstruction and 15 undergoing shoulder stabilisation. The mean age of patients was 26 years. 34 patients (85%) were male and 6 female (15%). Most common sport played was football in 13 patients (32%) followed by rugby in 10 (25%) and skiing in 5 (12%).
Skin epidermis, blood vessels, sweat glands, sebaceous glands and arrector pilli stained negative but dermis stained positive to varying degrees for decorin. Synovial surface of the capsule, blood vessels and skeletal muscles stained negative but ECM was positive to varying degrees for decorin. Tendon sheath and collagen fibres in ECM stained positive to varying degrees but skeletal muscle stained negative for decorin.
Skin epidermis, blood vessels, sweat glands, sebaceous glands and arrector pilli and dermis stained positive for biglycan to varying degrees. Synovial surface of the capsule, blood vessels and ECM stained positive for biglycan to varying degrees. Tendon sheath stained negative but collagen fibres, blood vessels and skeletal muscles stained positive for biglycan to varying degrees.
Discussion We looked at the expression and distribution of decorin and biglycan in skin, tendons and capsules of patients undergoing shoulder stabilisation or ACL reconstruction following sports injuries. There may be a link in the distribution of these SLRP's and strength of tissues, which can predispose individuals to injuries while playing sports and can also affect healing process. Further studies are needed to study this link.
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