Stephen J. Thomas, Joseph J. Sarver, Sarah M. Yannascoli, Jennica J. Tucker, John D. Kelly IV, Rexford S. Ahima, Mary F. Barbe and Louis J. Soslowsky
Recently, diabetes has been linked to rotator cuff disease and adhesive capsulitis, conditions with increased stiffness and inflammation. Unfortunately, limited research exists examining how hyperglycemia affects the native shoulder (tendon and capsule) properties. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to compare shoulder joint mechanics, tendon properties (mechanics and immunohistochemistry), and capsule of healthy control and hyperglycemic rats 8 weeks following induction of hyperglycemia with a submaximal dose of streptozotocin (STZ). Eighteen rats were injected with STZ to induce hyperglycemia or citrate buffer (control) and underwent normal cage activity for 8 weeks. Passive joint mechanics demonstrated significantly less external rotation in the hyperglycemic group compared to controls, with no other group differences. Tendon mechanical properties (stiffness and modulus) were not significantly different between groups at both the insertion site and mid-substance. Immunohistochemistry staining of the tendon and capsule demonstrated significantly increased interleukin 1-beta (IL1-β) and advanced glycated end-products (AGE) staining localized to the insertion and mid-substance of the tendon but not the capsule. In addition, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) staining was significantly increased in the superior capsule but not the supraspinatus tendon. This study demonstrates that isolated hypergylcemia does not diminish shoulder mechanical properties but does induce a chronic inflammatory response.