2018 Volume 80 Issue 3 Pages 405-412
Superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) of the bovine hindlimb originates from the caudolateral aspect of the distal femur and finally inserts onto the plantar aspect of the middle phalanges. In the present study, morphology and morphometry of the bovine SDFT at the muscle-tendon junction (MTJ), middle metatarsus (mM) and tendon-bone interface (TBI) were investigated. Cross-sectional morphology at the three regions of SDFT were oval, semioval and ring-formed, respectively. Significant difference in cross-sectional area was found only between MTJ-mM and mM-TBI (P<0.05). Functional compression and friction from the adjacent structures could be the most potential interactions affecting such appearances. Morphometric data of tenocyte number, water content, and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) length and angle were found increasing in the proximodistal direction, except the fibril diameter and collagen fibril index (CFI). Statistical analyzes could reveal significant differences in average number of tenocytes (P<0.0001), CFI (between MTJ-mM and MTJ-TBI, P<0.05), water content (between MTJ-TBI, P<0.05), length of GAG chains (between MTJ-TBI, P<0.05), and angle of GAG chains (P<0.0001), respectively. The fibrillar characteristics at the three different areas, including fibril diameter distribution and interfibrillar distance, existed in conforming to the tensional axes in situ. In addition, length and angle of GAG chains were relevant to moving directions of the collagen fibrils.