The deposition of aggrecan/hyaluronan (HA)‐rich matrix within the tendon body and surrounding peritenon impede tendon healing and result in compromised biomechanical properties. Hence, the development of novel strategies to achieve targeted removal of the aggrecan‐HA pericellular matrix may be effective in treating tendinopathy. The current study examined the therapeutic potential of a recombinant human hyaluronidase, rHuPH20 (FDA approved for reducing HA accumulation in tumors) for treating murine Achilles tendinopathy. The 12‐week‐old C57Bl/6 male mice were injected with two doses of rHuTGF‐β1 into the retrocalcaneal bursa (RCB) to induce a combined bursitis and tendinopathy. Twenty‐four hours following induction of injury, treatment groups were administered rHuPH20 Hyaluronidase (rHuPH20; Halozyme Therapeutics) into the RCB. At either 6 h (acute), 9 days, or 25 days following hyaluronidase treatment, Achilles tendons were analyzed for gene expression, histology and immunohistochemistry, fluorophore‐assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis, and biomechanical properties. The rHuPH20 treatment was effective, particularly at the acute and 9‐day time points, in (a) removing HA deposits from the Achilles tendon and surrounding tissues, (b) improving biomechanical properties of the healing tendon, and (c) eliciting targeted increases in expression of specific cell fate, extracellular matrix metabolism, and inflammatory genes. The potential of rHuPH20 to effectively clear the pro‐inflammatory, HA‐rich matrix within the RCB and tendon strongly supports the future refinement of injectable glycosidase preparations as potential treatments to protect or regenerate tendon tissue by reducing inflammation and scarring in the presence of bursitis or other inducers of damage such as mechanical overuse.
biomechanics; foot and ankle; inflammation; tendon