A porcine model of intervertebral disc degeneration induced by annular injury characterized with magnetic resonance imaging and histopathological findings. Laboratory investigation.
ABSTRACT Appropriate animal models of disc degeneration are critical for the study of proposed interventions as well as to further delineate the degenerative process. The purpose of this study was to characterize a porcine model for disc degeneration confirmed on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies and histological analysis.
Twelve miniature pigs were used (weight 48-65 kg) to study degeneration in the lumbar spine. Under fluoroscopic guidance, the disc was percutaneously punctured with a 3.2-mm-diameter trephine to a 5-mm depth into the annulus fibrosus. Control and experimental levels were randomized among 6 levels in the lumbar spine. The unlesioned spinal levels were used as controls and were compared with lesioned levels. Magnetic resonance imaging grading and disc height were serially recorded preoperatively, and at 5, 8, 19, 32, and 39 weeks postoperatively. The animals were killed in groups of 3 at 7, 18, 32, and 41 weeks postinjury, and the discs were examined histopathologically.
Consistent, sequential, and progressive degeneration of the annular injury was observed on MR imaging and histopathological studies from the time of injury to the final time point. The disc height and the disc height index also sequentially decreased from the time of the injury in a consistent manner. The uninjured control levels did not show any progressive degeneration and maintained their normal state.
Based on MR imaging and histopathological findings, the authors demonstrated and characterized a reliable model of sequential disc degeneration in miniature pigs with percutaneous injury to the annulus fibrosus. In the early stages, as soon as 5 weeks after injury, significant disc degeneration was seen on MR imaging grading with decreases in disc height. This degeneration did not improve by the final time point of 39 weeks.
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ABSTRACT: Lumbar discectomy is the surgical procedure most frequently performed for patients suffering from low back pain and sciatica. Disc herniation as a consequence of degenerative or traumatic processes is commonly encountered as the underlying cause for the painful condition. While discectomy provides favourable outcome in a majority of cases, there are conditions where unmet requirements exist in terms of treatment, such as large disc protrusions with minimal disc degeneration; in these cases, the high rate of recurrent disc herniation after discectomy is a prevalent problem. An effective biological annular repair could improve the surgical outcome in patients with contained disc herniations but otherwise minor degenerative changes. An attractive approach is a tissue-engineered implant that will enable/stimulate the repair of the ruptured annulus. The strategy is to develop three-dimensional scaffolds and activate them by seeding cells or by incorporating molecular signals that enable new matrix synthesis at the defect site, while the biomaterial provides immediate closure of the defect and maintains the mechanical properties of the disc. This review is structured into (1) introduction, (2) clinical problems, current treatment options and needs, (3) biomechanical demands, (4) cellular and extracellular components, (5) biomaterials for delivery, scaffolding and support, (6) pre-clinical models for evaluation of newly developed cell- and material-based therapies, and (7) conclusions. This article highlights that an interdisciplinary approach is necessary for successful development of new clinical methods for annulus fibrosus repair. This will benefit from a close collaboration between research groups with expertise in all areas addressed in this review.European cells & materials 01/2013; 25:1-21. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this study, the pathological microvessel changes to the endplate and the degeneration of the intervertebral disc of diabetic rats were examined in order to identify the possible mechanism by which diabetes mellitus (DM) induces degeneration of the intervertebral disc. A total of 30 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into two groups. DM was induced in one of the groups by streptozotocin (STZ) administration. The rats were sacrificed 4, 8 and 12 weeks later. Five rats from each group were sacrificed at each time interval and lumbar disc and endplate tissue were obtained from each rat. The histological changes, collagen expression, microvessel density (MVD) and apoptosis of the disc were investigated by different methods. The expression of collagen I in the diabetic DM group was higher compared to the control group at the three time points (P<0.01), in contrast to the expression of collagen II. The factor VIII-related antigen (FVIII RAg) was expressed in the control and DM groups, while its expression was relatively low in the DM group. The MVD of the DM group was smaller compared to that of the control group at the three time points (P<0.01). The apoptotic index (AI) in the diabetic group was significantly higher compared to that of the control group at the three time points (P<0.01). A negative correlation was observed between the MVD of the endplates and the notochordal cell AI in the two groups. Compared to the control group, the endplate MVD decreased and the cavity became smaller or disappeared in the diabetic rats. In conclusion, there was a negative correlation between MVD and degenerative changes of the intervertebral disc in diabetic rats.Experimental and therapeutic medicine 03/2013; 5(3):711-717. · 0.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND CONTEXT: The intervertebral disc (IVD) possesses a minimal capability for self-repair and regeneration. Changes in the differentiation of resident progenitor cells can represent diminished tissue regeneration and a loss of homeostasis. We previously showed that progenitor cells reside in the nucleus pulposus (NP). The effect of the degenerative process on these cells remains unclear. PURPOSE: We sought to explore the effect of IVD degeneration on the abundance of resident progenitor cells in the NP, their differentiation potential, and their ability to give rise to NP-like cells. We hypothesize that disc degeneration affects those properties. STUDY DESIGN: Nucleus pulposus cells derived from healthy and degenerated discs were methodically compared for proliferation, differentiation potential, and ability to generate NP-like cells. METHODS: Intervertebral disc degeneration was induced in 10 skeletally, mature mini pigs using annular injury approach. Degeneration was induced in three target discs, whereas intact adjacent discs served as controls. The disc degeneration was monitored using magnetic resonance imaging for 6 to 8 weeks. After there was a clear evidence of degeneration, we isolated and compared cells from degenerated discs (D-NP cells [NP-derived cells from porcine degenerated discs]) with cells isolated from healthy discs (H-NP cells) obtained from the same animal. RESULTS: The comparison showed that D-NP cells had a significantly higher colony-forming unit rate and a higher proliferation rate in vitro. Our data also indicate that although both cell types are able to differentiate into mesenchymal lineages, H-NP cells exhibit significantly greater differentiation toward the chondrogenic lineage and NP-like cells than D-NP cells, displaying greater production of glycosaminoglycans and higher gene expression of aggrecan and collagen IIa. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these findings, we conclude that IVD degeneration has a meaningful effect on the cells in the NP. D-NP cells clearly go through the regenerative process; however, this process is not powerful enough to facilitate full regeneration of the disc and reverse the degenerative course. These findings facilitate deeper understanding of the IVD degeneration process and trigger further studies that will contribute to development of novel therapies for IVD degeneration.The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society 04/2013; · 2.90 Impact Factor