Differential roles of collagen V in establishing the regional properties in mature and aging supraspinatus tendons
Collagen V is a lower abundance collagen present in tendon that regulates collagen production and organization. Deficiency in collagen V is associated with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that results in loose joints and weakened skin. The manner in which collagen V regulates tendon function, however, remains largely unknown, especially in different contexts (i.e. through healing, aging, and differences between sexes). Our ongoing studies utilize novel knockout mouse models to define tendon properties in response to collagen V knockout. While these studies focus on measuring tendon mechanical properties, we use a comprehensive approach to define the structure and composition of collagen-V deficient tendons at multiple scales. These multidisciplinary studies provide better understanding of the context-dependent role of collagen V in regulating tendon function. By further analyzing the relationships between tendon properties across multiple scales, from the cellular response to the whole tissue response, we can identify the processes and properties most critical for maintaining proper tendon function. These studies will not only provide insight into better treatment paradigms for Ehlers-Danlos patients, they will better define how various tendon components interact in healthy and unhealthy contexts.