Possible reparative effect of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) on injured meniscus

Yusuke Kamatsuki, Eriko Aoyama, Takayuki Furumatsu, Shinichi Miyazawa, Ami Maehara, Nobuyasu Yamanaka, Takashi Nishida, Satoshi Kubota, Toshifumi Ozaki, Masaharu Takigawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Menisci are a pair of crescent-shaped fibrocartilages, particularly of which their inner region of meniscus is an avascular tissue. It has characteristics similar to those of articular cartilage, and hence is inferior in healing. We previously reported that low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) treatment stimulates the production of CCN2/CTGF, a protein involved in repairing articular cartilage, and the gene expression of major cartilage matrices such as type II collagen and aggrecan in cultured chondrocytes. Therefore, in this present study, we investigated whether LIPUS has also favorable effect on meniscus cells and tissues. LIPUS applied with a 60 mW/cm2 intensity for 20 min stimulated the gene expression and protein production of CCN2 via ERK and p38 signaling pathways, as well as gene expression of SOX9, aggrecan, and collagen type II in human inner meniscus cells in culture, and slightly stimulated the gene expression of CCN2 and promoted the migration in human outer meniscus cells in culture. LIPUS also induced the expression of Ccn2, Sox9, Col2a1, and Vegf in rat intact meniscus. Furthermore, histological evaluations showed that LIPUS treatment for 1 to 4 weeks promoted healing of rat injured lateral meniscus, as evidenced by better and earlier angiogenesis and extracellular matrix synthesis. The data presented indicate that LIPUS treatment might prevent meniscus from degenerative change and exert a reparative effect on injured meniscus via up-regulation of repairing factors such as CCN2 and that it might thus be useful for treatment of an injured meniscus as a non-invasive therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-207
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cell Communication and Signaling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 6 2019


  • Cell migration
  • ERK
  • Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS)
  • Meniscal healing
  • Meniscus regeneration
  • p38

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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