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Musculoskeletal connective tissue cells with muscle: Expression of muscle actin in and contraction of fibroblasts, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts

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The expression of the gene for a muscle actin in certain nonmuscle cells and the contraction of these connective tissue cells has been associated with several important physiological and pathological processes; the contraction of healing skin wounds and the contracture in Dupuytren's disease being two notable examples. Studies in recent years have shown that a much wider variety of connective tissue cells than previously considered, including cells in many of the musculoskeletal tissues, e.g., chondrocytes and osteoblasts, can express the gene for α-smooth muscle actin and can display contractile behavior. These findings suggest that muscle actin-enabled cell contraction may also be playing important roles in the other connective tissues comprising the musculoskeletal system, namely, tendon, ligament, meniscus, intervertebral disc, articular cartilage, and bone. (WOUND REP REG 2001;9:11–18)

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001


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