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In vivo intervertebral disc regeneration using stem cell-derived chondroprogenitors
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine.
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2009 (English)In: Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, ISSN 1547-5654, Vol. 10, no 3, 265-272 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Object. There is Currently no biologic therapy to repair or restore a degenerated intervertebral disc. A potential solution may rest with embryonic stern cells (ESCs), which have a potential to grow indefinitely and differentiate into a variety of cell types in vitro. Prior studies have shown that ESCs can be encouraged to differentiate toward specific cell lineages by Culture in selective media and specific growth environment. Among these lineages, there are cells capable of potentially producing nucleus pulposus (NP) in vivo. In this investigation, the authors studied ESC-derived chondroprogenitors implanted into a degenerated disc in a rabbit. For this purpose, a rabbit model of disc degeneration was developed. Methods. A percutaneous animal model of disc degeneration was developed by needle puncture of healthy intact discs in 16 New Zealand white rabbits. Series of spine MR imaging studies were obtained before disc puncture and after 2, 6, and 8 weeks. Prior to implantation, murine ESCs were Cultured with cis-retinoic acid, transforming growth factor beta, ascorbic acid, and insulin-like growth factor to induce differentiation toward a chondrocyte lineage. After confirmation by MR imaging, degenerated disc levels were injected with chondrogenic derivatives of ESCs expressing green fluorescent protein. At 8 weeks post-ESC implantation, the animals were killed and the intervertebral discs were harvested and analyzed using H & E staining, confocal fluorescent microscopy, and immunohistochemical analysis. Three intervertebral disc groups were analyzed in 16 rabbits, as follows: 1) Group A, control: naive, non-punctured discs, (32 discs, levels L4-5 and L5-6); 2) Group B, experimental control: punctured disc (16 discs, level L2-3); and 3) Group C, experimental: Punctured disc followed by implantation of chondroprogenitor cells (16 discs, level L3-4). Results. The MR imaging studies confirmed intervertebral disc degeneration at needle-punctured segments starting at similar to 2 weeks. Postmortem H & E histological analysis of Group A discs showed mature chondrocytes and no notochordal cells. Group B discs displayed an intact anulus fibrosus and generalized disorganization within fibrous tissue of NP. Group C discs showed islands of notochordal cell growth. Immunofluorescent staining for notochordal cells was negative for Groups A and B but revealed viable notochordal-type cells within experimental Group C discs, which had been implanted with ESC derivatives. Notably, no inflammatory response was noted in Group C discs. Conclusions. This study illustrates a reproducible percuataneous model for studying disc degeneration. New notochordal cell populations were seen in degenerated discs injected with ESCs. The lack of immune response to a xenograft of mouse cells in ail immunocompetent rabbit model may suggest all as yet unrecognized immunoprivileged site within the intervertebral disc space.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 10, no 3, 265-272 p.
Keyword [en]
disc degeneration, disc regeneration, notochordal tissue, rabbit model, stem cell
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-129890DOI: 10.3171/2008.12.SPINE0835ISI: 000263868200015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-129890DiVA: diva2:345568
Available from: 2010-08-26 Created: 2010-08-25 Last updated: 2010-08-26Bibliographically approved

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