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: Previous studies have shown that blocking the endplate nutritional pathway with bone cement did not result in obvious intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) in mature animal models. However, there are very few comparable studies in immature animal models. As vertebroplasty currently is beginning to be applied in young, even biologically immature patients, it is important to investigate the effect of cement blocking at the endplate in an immature animal model. Two lumbar intervertebral discs in eight immature pigs were either blocked by cement in both endplate pathways or stabbed with a scalpel in the annulus fibrosus (AF) as a positive control, and with a third disc remaining intact as a normal control. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histology study were performed. After three months, the cement-blocked discs exhibited severe IDD, with the percentage of disc-height index (DHI), nucleus pulposus (NP) area, and NP T2 value significantly lower than the normal control. These IDD changes were histologically confirmed. Post-contrast MRI showed diseased nutritional diffusion patterns in the cement-blocked discs. Moreover, the degenerative changes of the cement-blocked discs exceeded those of the injured AF positive controls. The endplate nutritional pathway was interfered with and diseased after three months of bone cement intervention in an immature porcine model. Severe interference in the endplate nutritional pathway in an immature porcine model caused IDD. These findings also draw attention to the fact that interference in endplate nutritional pathways in immature or young patients may affect the vitality of adjacent discs.International Orthopaedics 03/2014; · 2.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A large percentage of back pain can be attributed to degeneration of the intervertebral disc (IVD). Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) is known to play an important role in chondrogenesis of the IVD. Simvastatin is known to up-regulate expression of BMP-2. Thus, we hypothesized that intradiscal injection of simvastatin in a rat model of degenerative disc disease (DDD) would result in retardation of DDD. To develop a novel conservative treatment for DDD and related discogenic back pain. Laboratory investigation. Disc injury was induced in 272 rats via 21-gauge needle puncture. After 6 weeks, injured discs were treated with simvastatin in a saline or hydrogel carrier. Rats were sacrificed at predetermined time points. Outcome measures assessed were radiologic, histologic, and genetic. Radiologically, the MRI index (number of pixels multiplied by corresponding image densities) was determined. Histologically, disc spaces were read by 3 blinded scorers employing a previously described histological grading scale. Genetically, nuclei pulposi were harvested and polymerase chain reaction was run to determine relative levels of aggrecan, collagen type II, and BMP-2 gene expression. This project was supported by Grant No. R01 AR056649 from NIAMS/NIH. There are no other financial conflicts of interest to report. Radiologically, discs treated with 5 mg/mL simvastatin in hydrogel or saline demonstrated MRI indices that were normal through 8 weeks post-treatment, although this was more sustained when delivered in hydrogel. Histologically, discs treated with 5 mg/mL simvastatin in hydrogel demonstrated improved grades in comparison to discs treated at higher doses. Genetically, discs treated with 5 mg/mL of simvastatin in hydrogel demonstrated higher gene expression of aggrecan and collagen type II than control. Degenerate discs treated with 5 mg/mL simvastatin in a hydrogel carrier demonstrated radiographic and histologic features resembling normal, non-injured IVDs. In addition, gene expression of aggrecan and collagen type II (important constituents of the IVD extracellular matrix) was up-regulated in treated discs. Injection of simvastatin into degenerate IVDs may result in retardation of disc degeneration and represents a promising investigational therapy for conservative treatment of DDD.The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society 11/2013; · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains growth factors and creates a 3D structure upon clotting; PRP or platelet lysate (PL) might be considered for annulus fibrosus (AF) repair. Bovine AF cells were cultured with 25 % PRP, 50 % PRP, 25 % PL, 50 % PL, or 10 % FBS. After 2 and 4 days, DNA, glycosaminoglycan (GAG), and mRNA levels were analyzed. Histology was performed after injection of PRP into an AF defect in a whole disc ex vivo. By day 4, significant increases in DNA content were observed in all treatment groups. All groups also showed elevated GAG synthesis, with highest amounts at 50 % PL. Collagen I and II expression was similar between groups; aggrecan, decorin, and versican expression was highest at 25 % PL. Injection of PRP into the AF defect resulted in an increased matrix synthesis. Platelet-rich preparations increased the matrix production and cell number and may therefore be considered to promote AF repair.European Spine Journal 01/2014; · 2.47 Impact Factor