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IGF 1: Wonder drug for tendonitis?

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I have had a very bad case of Patellar Tendonitis for about a year now. I have tried physical therapy, laying off, etc. I recently started Long R3 IGF1 and the pain is all but gone. I am usually a skeptic about this stuff, but I cannot explain it. Here is some research that seems to back it up.

The roles of growth factors in tendon and ligament healing.

Molloy T, Wang Y, Murrell G.

Orthopaedic Research Institute, St George Hospital Campus, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Tendon healing is a complex and highly-regulated process that is initiated, sustained and eventually terminated by a large number and variety of molecules. Growth factors represent one of the most important of the molecular families involved in healing, and a considerable number of studies have been undertaken in an effort to elucidate their many functions. This review covers some of the recent investigations into the roles of five growth factors whose activities have been best characterised during tendon healing: insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). All five are markedly up-regulated following tendon injury and are active at multiple stages of the healing process. IGF-I has been shown to be highly expressed during the early inflammatory phase in a number of animal tendon healing models, and appears to aid in the proliferation and migration of fibroblasts and to subsequently increase collagen production. TGFbeta is also active during inflammation, and has a variety of effects including the regulation of cellular migration and proliferation, and fibronectin binding interactions. VEGF is produced at its highest levels only after the inflammatory phase, at which time it is a powerful stimulator of angiogenesis. PDGF is produced shortly after tendon damage and helps to stimulate the production of other growth factors, including IGF-I, and has roles in tissue remodelling.In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that bFGF is both a powerful stimulator of angiogenesis and a regulator of cellular migration and proliferation. This review also covers some of the most recent studies into the use of these molecules as therapeutic agents to increase the efficacy and efficiency of tendon and ligament healing. Studies into the effects of the exogenous application of TGFbeta, IGF-I, PDGF and bFGF into the wound site singly and in combination have shown promise, significantly decreasing a number of parameters used to define the functional deficit of a healing tendon. Application of IGF-I has been shown to increase in the Achilles Functional Index and the breaking energy of injured rat tendon. TGFbeta and PDGF have been shown separately to increase the breaking energy of healing tendon. Finally, application of bFGF has been shown to promote cellular proliferation and collagen synthesis in vivo.

Insulin-like growth factor-I improves cellular and molecular aspects of healing in a collagenase-induced model of flexor tendinitis.

Dahlgren LA, van der Meulen MC, Bertram JE, Starrak GS, Nixon AJ.

Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Veterinary Medical Center, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

Flexor tendinitis is a common and debilitating injury of elite and recreational athletes. Healing may be improved through intratendinous injection of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), which has been shown in vitro to stimulate mitogenesis and enhance tendon matrix production. This study investigated the effects of intratendinous injection of IGF-I on tendon healing in an equine model of flexor tendinitis. Collagenase-induced lesions were created in the tensile region of theflexor digitorum superficialis tendon of both forelimbs of eight horses. Treated tendons were injected with 2 microg rhlGF-I intralesionally every other day for 10 injections, while controls received 0.9% NaCl. Tendon fiber deposition and organization were evaluated serially using ultrasonography throughout the 8 week trial period. Following euthanasia, the tendons were harvested and DNA, hydroxyproline, and glycosaminoglycan content determined, mechanical strength and stiffness evaluated, gene expression and spatial arrangement of collagen types I and III assessed by northern blot and in situ hybridization, and tendon fiber architecture assessed by polarized light microscopy. Local soft tissue swelling was reduced in the IGF-I treated limbs. Similarly, lesion size in IGF-I treated tendons was smaller 3 and 4 weeks after initiation of treatment. Cell proliferation and collagen content of the IGF-I treated tendons were increased compared to controls. Mechanically, IGF-I treated tendons showed a trend toward increased stiffness compared to saline treated controls. Considered together with the decreased soft tissue swelling and improved sonographic healing, these data support the potential use of intralesional IGF-I for treatment of debilitating tendon injuries.