PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Anesthesiology and Pain Management - Biochemistry - Neurological Disorders - Neuroscience - Pharmacology - Physiology

Increased Expression of Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors in Achilles Tendinosis
Published: Thursday, September 08, 2011
Author: Emmelie Björklund et al.

by Emmelie Björklund, Sture Forsgren, Håkan Alfredson, Christopher J. Fowler


The endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in the control of pain. However, little is known as to the integrity of the cannabinoid system in human pain syndromes. Here we investigate the expression of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) in human Achilles tendons from healthy volunteers and from patients with Achilles tendinosis.


Cannabinoid CB1 receptor immunoreactivity (CB1IR) was evaluated in formalin-fixed biopsies from individuals suffering from painful Achilles tendinosis in comparison with healthy human Achilles tendons.

Principal Findings

CB1IR was seen as a granular pattern in the tenocytes. CB1IR was also observed in the blood vessel wall and in the perineurium of the nerve. Quantification of the immunoreactivity in tenocytes showed an increase of CB1 receptor expression in tendinosis tissue compared to control tissue.


Expression of cannabinoid receptor 1 is increased in human Achilles tendinosis suggesting that the cannabinoid system may be dysregulated in this disorder.