Tendon adhesions are one of the most concerning complications after surgical repair of flexor tendon injury. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 2 plays crucial roles in fibroblast proliferation and collagen expression which contributes to the formation of tendon adhesions after flexor tendon surgery. Using a chicken model, we have examined the effects of a small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting ERK2 delivered by a lentiviral system on tendon adhesion formation with an adhesion scoring system, histological assessment, and biomechanical evaluation. It was found that ERK2 siRNA effectively suppressed the increase of fibroblasts and the formation of tendon adhesions (p < 0.05 compared with the control group). Moreover, no statistically significant reduction in breaking force was detected between the ERK2 siRNA group and the control group. These results show that the lentiviral-mediated siRNA system is effective in preventing tendon adhesion formation but not to tendon healing, and may be used for tendon repair after confirmation and improvement by future detailed studies.
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