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Apoptosis of human intervertebral discs after trauma compares to degenerated discs involving both receptor-mediated and mitochondrial-dependent pathways
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Orthopaedics.
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2008 (English)In: Journal of Orthopaedic Research, ISSN 0736-0266, Vol. 26, no 7, 999-1006 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Post-traumatic disc degeneration with consecutive loss of reduction and kyphosis remains a debatable issue within both the operative and nonoperative treatment regimen of thoracolumbar spine fractures. Intervertebral disc (IVD) cell apoptosis has been suggested to play a vital role in promoting the degeneration process. To evaluate and compare apoptosis-regulating signaling mechanisms, IVDs were obtained from patients with thoracolumbar spine fractures (n = 21), patients suffering from symptomatic IVD degeneration (n = 6), and from patients undergoing surgical resection of a primary vertebral tumor (n = 3 used as control samples). All tissues were prospectively analyzed in regards to caspase-3/7, -8, and -9 activity, apoptosis-receptor expression levels, and gene expression of the mitochondria-bound apoptosis-regulating proteins Bax and Bcl-2. Morphologic changes characteristic for apoptotic cell death were confirmed by H&E staining. Statistical significance was designated at p < 0.05 using the Student's t-test. Both traumatic and degenerative IVD demonstrated a significant increase of caspase-3/7 activity with evident apoptosis. Although caspase-3/7 activation was significantly greater in degenerated discs, both showed equally significant activation of the initiator caspases 8 and 9. Traumatic IVD alone demonstrated a significant increase of the Fas receptor (FasR), whereas the TNF receptor I (TNFR I) was equally up-regulated in both morbid IVD groups. Only traumatic IVD showed distinct changes in up-regulated TNF expression, in addition to significantly down-regulated antiapoptotic Bcl-2 protein. Our results suggest that post-traumatic disc changes may be promoted and amplified by both the intrinsic mitochondria-mediated and extrinsic receptor-mediated apoptosis signaling pathways, which could be, in part, one possible explanation for developing subsequent disc degeneration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 26, no 7, 999-1006 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-113121DOI: 10.1002/jor.20601PubMedID: 18302283OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-113121DiVA: diva2:289837
Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2010-04-22Bibliographically approved

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