The importance of plasmin for the healing of the anterior cruciate ligament.

Bakirci, Ezgi; Tschan, Karin; May, Rahel D.; Ahmad, Sufian S; Kleer, Barbara; Gantenbein, Benjamin (2020). The importance of plasmin for the healing of the anterior cruciate ligament. Bone & joint research, 9(9), pp. 543-553. British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery 10.1302/2046-3758.99.BJR-2020-0048.R1

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The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is known to have a poor wound healing capacity, whereas other ligaments outside of the knee joint capsule such as the medial collateral ligament (MCL) apparently heal more easily. Plasmin has been identified as a major component in the synovial fluid that varies among patients. The aim of this study was to test whether plasmin, a component of synovial fluid, could be a main factor responsible for the poor wound healing capacity of the ACL.


The effects of increasing concentrations of plasmin (0, 0.1, 1, 10, and 50 µg/ml) onto the wound closing speed (WCS) of primary ACL-derived ligamentocytes (ACL-LCs) were tested using wound scratch assay and time-lapse phase-contrast microscopy. Additionally, relative expression changes (quantitative PCR (qPCR)) of major LC-relevant genes and catabolic genes were investigated. The positive controls were 10% fetal calf serum (FCS) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF).


WCS did not differ significantly among no plasmin versus each of the tested concentrations (six donors). The positive controls with PDGF and with FCS differed significantly from the negative controls. However, we found a trend demonstrating that higher plasmin concentrations up-regulate the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP13), 3 (MMP3), and tenomodulin (TNMD).


The clinical relevance of this study is the possibility that it is not solely the plasmin, but also additional factors in the synovial fluid of the knee, that may be responsible for the poor healing capacity of the ACL.Cite this article: Bone Joint Res 2020;9(9):543-553.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Services > Core Facility Live Cell Imaging (LCI)

UniBE Contributor:

May, Rahel Deborah, Kleer, Barbara Katharina, Gantenbein, Benjamin


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery




Benjamin Gantenbein

Date Deposited:

18 Sep 2020 08:39

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:40

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Anterior cruciate ligament Metalloproteinases Plasmin Platelet derived growth factor Real-time microscopy Wound scratch assay




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