Fascia is able to actively contract and may thereby influence musculoskeletal dynamics : a histochemical and mechanographic investigation

  • Fascial tissues form a ubiquitous network throughout the whole body, which is usually regarded as a passive contributor to biomechanical behavior. We aimed to answer the question, whether fascia may possess the capacity for cellular contraction which, in turn, could play an active role in musculoskeletal mechanics. Human and rat fascial specimens from different body sites were investigated for the presence of myofibroblasts using immunohistochemical staining for α-smooth muscle actin (n = 31 donors, n = 20 animals). In addition, mechanographic force registrations were performed on isolated rat fascial tissues (n = 8 to n = 18), which had been exposed to pharmacological stimulants. The density of myofibroblasts was increased in the human lumbar fascia in comparison to fasciae from the two other regions examined in this study: fascia lata and plantar fascia [H(2) = 14.0, p < 0.01]. Mechanographic force measurements revealed contractions in response to stimulation by fetal bovine serum, the thromboxane A2 analog U46619, TGF-β1, and mepyramine, while challenge by botulinum toxin type C3–used as a Rho kinase inhibitor– provoked relaxation (p < 0.05). In contrast, fascial tissues were insensitive to angiotensin II and caffeine (p < 0.05). A positive correlation between myofibroblast density and contractile response was found (rs = 0.83, p < 0.001). The hypothetical application of the registered forces to human lumbar tissues predicts a potential impact below the threshold for mechanical spinal stability but strong enough to possibly alter motoneuronal coordination in the lumbar region. It is concluded that tension of myofascial tissue is actively regulated by myofibroblasts with the potential to impact active musculoskeletal dynamics.

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Author:Robert Schleip, Giulio Gabbiani, Jan WilkeORCiDGND, Ian Naylor, Boris Hinz, Adjo Zorn, Heike Jäger, Rainer Breul, Stephanie Schreiner, Werner Klingler
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31001134
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in physiology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Contributor(s):Marc-Antoine Custaud
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/04/02
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/05/06
Tag:connective tissue; contractility; contracture; myofibroblasts; stiffness
Issue:Art. 336
Page Number:15
First Page:1
Last Page:15
Copyright © 2019 Schleip, Gabbiani, Wilke, Naylor, Hinz, Zorn, Jäger, Breul, Schreiner and Klingler. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0