Many studies have been performed on the structure, molecular composition, and biochemical properties of tendons. However, comparatively little research has been conducted on the content of various trace elements within tendons. Six elements were analyzed in four regions of the peroneus longus tendon: the tensional part of the tendon immediately proximal to the lateral malleolus (region A), the compressive region of the tendon in contact with the lateral malleolus (region B), the compressive region of the tendon in contact with the deep surface of the cuboid (region C), and the tensional part of the tendon between the cuboid and first metatarsal, to which the tendon is attached (region D). Regions B and C are wraparound regions. The calcium content was higher in region C (2.10 ± 0.93 mg/g) than in both regions A (1.25 ± 0.51 mg/g) and D (1.43 ± 0.41 mg/g) (p < 0.05), indicating that it is likely related to regional differences in cartilage degeneration. The phosphorus content was also higher in region C, possibly because of low alkaline phosphatase activity in this region. The sulfur content was higher in the wraparound regions (region B: 0.98 ± 0.09 mg/g, region C: 1.24 ± 0.19 mg/g) than in both regions A (0.83 ± 0.11 mg/g) and D (0.83 ± 0.1 mg/g) (p < 0.01); sulfur content is thought to be influenced by tendon-bone compression. Finally, the magnesium content in the wraparound regions was also higher, which is probably related to a higher level of fibrocartilage. No significant relationships were found with regard to zinc or iron. Overall, the findings of the present study indicate that element contents are related to function and anatomical differences in tendons, and that they may even vary within the same tendon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas