Tendon injuries in humans as well as in animals' veterinary medicine are problematic because tendon has poor regenerative capacity and complete regeneration of the ruptured tendon is never achieved. In the last decade there has been an increasing need of treatment methods with different approaches. The aim of the current study was to improve the regeneration process of rat Achilles tendon with tenocyte seeded decellularized tendon matrices. For this purpose, Achilles tendons were harvested, decellularized and seeded as a mixture of three consecutive passages of tenocytes at a density of 1 x 10(6) cells/ml. Specifically, cells with different passage numbers were compared with respect to growth characteristics, cellular senescence and collagen/tenocyte marker production before seeding process. The viability of reseeded tendon constructs was followed postoperatively up to 6 months in rat Achilles tendon by histopathological and biomechanical analysis. Our results suggests that tenocyte seeded decellularized tendon matrix can significantly improve the histological and biomechanical properties of tendon repair tissue without causing adverse immune reactions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first long-term study in the literature which was accomplished to prove the use of decellularized matrix in a clinically relevant model of rat Achilles tendon and the method suggested herein might have important implications for translation into the clinic. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.