CORRInsights®: Prolotherapy Induces an Inflammatory Response in Human Tenocytes In Vitro

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The current study by Ekwueme and colleagues addresses a critical first step in understanding the response of two types of human tenocytes in vitro to two different prolotherapy agents. Briefly, the authors found that dextrose and a combination of phenol, glucose, and glycerin (P2G) decreased the metabolic activity of the cultured tenocytes, upregulated a focused panel of pro-inflammatory markers, and decreased cell migration by tenocytes, with P2G generally demonstrating stronger or more pronounced measured effects than dextrose. These findings provide important initial insights into how prolotherapy might work; however, the investigators really examined the in vitro effects of two common prolotherapy agents, rather than prolotherapy itself. As a result, we know that prolotherapy is commonly used by some practitioners in clinical practice [2], and that it likely does induce cell death and an accompanying subsequent local inflammatory response [1].
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