Background and purpose: Several studies have shown that nicotine has a detrimental effect on the development of rotator cuff tear. However, little is known about its mechanism. We evaluated the effect of nicotine on the maximum tensile load, the maximum tensile stress, and the elastic modulus of the supraspinatus tendon in a rat model. Methods: 27 rats were randomly assigned to 3 groups. Subcutaneously implanted osmotic pumps delivered two different concentrations of nicotine solution (high dose: 45 ng/mL; low dose: 22.5 ng/mL) or saline solution (controls) over a 12-week period. The level of serum cotinine, a breakdown product of nicotine, was evaluated. We performed tensile testing using the left supraspinatus tendon in each rat. The maximum load of the supraspinatus tendon was measured, and the maximum tensile stress and elastic modulus were calculated. Results: Serum cotinine levels showed controlled systemic release of nicotine. The maximum tensile load and stress were similar in the three groups. The elastic modulus was, however, higher in the nicotine groups than in the control group. Interpretation: In a rat model, ncotine caused a change in the material properties of the supraspinatus tendon. This change may predispose to a tear in the supraspinatus tendon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine