disc degeneration
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Weishi Liang ◽  
Bo Han ◽  
Yong Hai ◽  
Duan Sun ◽  
Peng Yin

Exosomes are extracellular vesicles formed by various donor cells that regulate gene expression and cellular function in recipient cells. Exosomes derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-Exos) perform the regulatory function of stem cells by transporting proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids. Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is one of the main causes of low back pain, and it is characterized by a decreased number of nucleus pulposus cells, extracellular matrix decomposition, aging of the annulus fibrosus, and cartilage endplate calcification. Besides, nutrient transport and structural repair of intervertebral discs depend on bone and cartilage and are closely related to the state of the bone. Trauma, disease and aging can all cause bone injury. However, there is a lack of effective drugs against IDD and bone injury. Recent MSC-Exos fine tuning has led to significant progress in the IDD treatment and bone repair and regeneration. In this review, we looked at the uniqueness of MSC-Exos, and the potential treatment mechanisms of MSC-Exos with respect to IDD, bone defects and injuries.

Chenglong Xie ◽  
Yifeng Shi ◽  
Zuoxi Chen ◽  
Xin Zhou ◽  
Peng Luo ◽  

Oxidative stress–induced apoptosis and senescence of nucleus pulposus (NP) cells play a crucial role in the progression of intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD). Accumulation of studies has shown that activated autophagy and enhanced autophagic flux can alleviate IVDD. In this study, we explored the effects of apigenin on IVDD in vitro and in vivo. Apigenin was found to inhibit tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP)–induced apoptosis, senescence, and ECM degradation in NP cells. In addition, apigenin treatment can restore the autophagic flux blockage caused by TBHP. Mechanistically, we found that TBHP may induce autophagosome and lysosome fusion interruption and lysosomal dysfunction, while apigenin alleviates these phenomena by promoting the nuclear translocation of TFEB via the AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway. Furthermore, apigenin also exerts a protective effect against the progression of IVDD in the puncture-induced rat model. Taken together, these findings indicate that apigenin protects NP cells against TBHP-induced apoptosis, senescence, and ECM degradation via restoration of autophagic flux in vitro, and it also ameliorates IVDD progression in rats in vivo, demonstrating its potential for serving as an effective therapeutic agent for IVDD.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Weikang Zhang ◽  
Yuhang Gong ◽  
Xiaohang Zheng ◽  
Jianxin Qiu ◽  
Ting Jiang ◽  

Platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) is a cytokine involved in tissue repair and tumor progression. It has been found to have expression differences between normal and degenerative intervertebral discs. However, it is not clear whether PDGF-BB has a protective effect on intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). In this experiment, we treated nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) with IL-1β to simulate an inflammatory environment and found that the extracellular matrix (ECM) anabolic function of NPCs in an inflammatory state was inhibited. Moreover, the induction of IL-1β also enhanced the expression of NLRP3 and the cleavage of caspase-1 and IL-1β, which activated the pyroptosis of NPCs. In this study, we studied the effect of PDGF-BB on IL-1β-treated NPCs and found that PDGF-BB not only significantly promotes the ECM anabolism of NPCs, but also inhibits the occurrence of pyroptosis and the production of pyroptosis products of NPCs. Consistent with this, when we used imatinib to block the PDGF-BB receptor, the above-mentioned protective effect disappeared. In addition, we found that PDGF-BB can also promote the ECM anabolism of NPCs by regulating the ERK, JNK, PI3K/AKT signaling pathways, but not the P38 signaling pathway. In vivo studies, mice that blocked PDGF-BB receptors showed more severe histological manifestations of intervertebral disc degeneration. In summary, our results indicate that PDGF-BB participates in inhibiting the occurrence and development of IDD by inhibiting pyroptosis and regulating the MAPK signaling pathway.

Xinjie Wu ◽  
Wei Sun

Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is the leading cause of low back pain related to degradation of cartilaginous tissues, mainly resulting from oxidative stress, cell apoptosis, and extracellular matrix degradation. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) exist in all bodily fluids and can be produced by all types of cells. Stem cell-derived EVs (SC-EVs), which are the main paracrine components of stem cells, have gained significant attention in the field of regenerative medicine. Over the past years, accumulating evidence indicates the therapeutic and diagnostic potentials of EVs in IVDD. The main mechanisms involve the induction of regenerative phenotypes, apoptosis alleviation, and immune modulation. In addition, the efficiency of SC-EVs can be enhanced by choosing appropriate donor cells and cell phenotypes, optimizing cell culture conditions, or engineering EVs to deliver drugs and targeting molecules. Given the importance and novelty of SC-EVs, we give an overview of SC-EVs and discuss the roles of SC-EVs in IVDD.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2022 ◽  
pp. 1-17
Xiaobo Ma ◽  
Junqiang Su ◽  
Bo Wang ◽  
Xiasheng Jin

Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a major cause of lower back pain. However, to date, the molecular mechanism of the IDD remains unclear. Gene expression profiles and clinical traits were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. Firstly, weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA) was used to screen IDD-related genes. Moreover, least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) logistic regression and support vector machine (SVM) algorithms were used to identify characteristic genes. Furthermore, we further investigated the immune landscape by the Cell-type Identification By Estimating Relative Subsets Of RNA Transcripts (CIBERSORT) algorithm and the correlations between key characteristic genes and infiltrating immune cells. Finally, a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) network was established to show the regulatory mechanisms of characteristic genes. A total of 2458 genes were identified by WGCNA, and 48 of them were disordered. After overlapping the genes obtained by LASSO and SVM-RFE algorithms, genes including LINC01347, ASAP1-IT1, lnc-SEPT7L-1, B3GNT8, CHRNB3, CLEC4F, LOC102724000, SERINC2, and LOC102723649 were identified as characteristic genes of IDD. Moreover, differential analysis further identified ASAP1-IT1 and SERINC2 as key characteristic genes. Furthermore, we found that the expression of both ASAP1-IT1 and SERINC2 was related to the proportions of T cells gamma delta and Neutrophils. Finally, a ceRNA network was established to show the regulatory mechanisms of ASAP1-IT1 and SERINC2. In conclusion, the present study identified ASAP1-IT1 and SERINC2 as the key characteristic genes of IDD through integrative bioinformatic analyses, which may contribute to the diagnosis and treatment of IDD.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2022 ◽  
pp. 1-16
Guoshuai Cao ◽  
Sidong Yang ◽  
Jianye Cao ◽  
Zixuan Tan ◽  
Linyu Wu ◽  

Intervertebral disc degeneration is a very common type of degenerative disease causing severe socioeconomic impact, as well as a major cause of discogenic low back pain and herniated discs, placing a heavy burden on patients and the clinicians who treat them. IDD is known to be associating with a complex process involving in extracellular matrix and cellular damage, and in recent years, there is increasing evidence that oxidative stress is an important activation mechanism of IDD and that reactive oxygen and reactive nitrogen species regulate matrix metabolism, proinflammatory phenotype, autophagy and senescence in intervertebral disc cells, apoptosis, autophagy, and senescence. Despite the tremendous efforts of researchers within the field of IDD pathogenesis, the proven strategies to prevent and treat this disease are still very limited. Up to now, several antioxidants have been proved to be effective for alleviating IDD. In this article, we discussed that oxidative stress accelerates disc degeneration by influencing aging, inflammation, autophagy, and DNA methylation, and summarize some antioxidant therapeutic measures for IDD, indicating that antioxidant therapy for disc degeneration holds excellent promise.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2022 ◽  
pp. 1-21
Yongjin Li ◽  
Xiaojing Wu ◽  
Jianhua Li ◽  
Lilong Du ◽  
Xuke Wang ◽  

The abnormal function of nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD). Recent studies have demonstrated that circular RNAs (circRNAs) are involved in the pathological process of IVDD by regulating NPCs’ function. Nevertheless, the investigation on circRNA-circRNA interaction has not yet been reported. Here, we identified the top upregulated circ_0040039 and circ_0004354 in IVDD, derived from the syntrophin beta 2 gene but had different degrees of biological functions. Accumulating studies have reported PANoptosis is composed of apoptosis, pyroptosis, and necroptosis. Based on this, we think there should be a new pro-inflammatory cell death PAoptosis in the form of apoptosis and pyroptosis. Circ_0004354 might compete with circ_0040039 to induce the development of IVDD by modulating miR-345-3p-FAF1/TP73 axis-mediated PAoptosis, inflammatory response, growth inhibition, and ECM degradation of NPCs. Thus, these findings offer a novel insight into the circRNAs-mediated posttranscriptional regulatory network in IVDD, contributing to further clarification of the pathological mechanism of IVDD to develop a promising therapeutic target for IVDD diseases.

2022 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Derong Xu ◽  
Xuexiao Ma ◽  
Chong Sun ◽  
Jialuo Han ◽  
Chuanli Zhou ◽  

Low back pain, a common medical condition, could result in severe disability and inflict huge economical and public health burden. Its pathogenesis is attributed to multiple etiological factors, including intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Emerging evidence suggests that circular RNAs (circRNAs), a major type of regulatory non-coding RNA, play critical roles in cellular processes that are pertinent to IDD development, including nucleus pulposus cell proliferation and apoptosis as well as extracellular matrix deposition. Increasing number of translational studies also indicated that circRNAs could serve as novel biomarkers for the diagnosis of IDD and/or predicting its clinical outcomes. Our review aims to discuss the recent progress in the functions and mechanisms of newly discovered IDD-related circRNAs.

Bone Research ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
Zuqiang Wang ◽  
Hangang Chen ◽  
Qiaoyan Tan ◽  
Junlan Huang ◽  
Siru Zhou ◽  

AbstractThe intervertebral disc (IVD) is the largest avascular tissue. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) play essential roles in regulating cellular adaptation in the IVD under physiological conditions. Disc degeneration disease (DDD) is one of the leading causes of disability, and current therapies are ineffective. This study sought to explore the role of HIFs in DDD pathogenesis in mice. The findings of this study showed that among HIF family members, Hif1α was significantly upregulated in cartilaginous endplate (EP) and annulus fibrosus (AF) tissues from human DDD patients and two mouse models of DDD compared with controls. Conditional deletion of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Vhl in EP and AF tissues of adult mice resulted in upregulated Hif1α expression and age-dependent IVD degeneration. Aberrant Hif1α activation enhanced glycolytic metabolism and suppressed mitochondrial function. On the other hand, genetic ablation of the Hif1α gene delayed DDD pathogenesis in Vhl-deficient mice. Administration of 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME2), a selective Hif1α inhibitor, attenuated experimental IVD degeneration in mice. The findings of this study show that aberrant Hif1α activation in EP and AF tissues induces pathological changes in DDD, implying that inhibition of aberrant Hif1α activity is a potential therapeutic strategy for DDD.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2022 ◽  
pp. 1-18
Shujun Zhang ◽  
Sheng Song ◽  
Wei Cui ◽  
Xueguang Liu ◽  
Zhenzhong Sun

Objective. Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) contributes to cervical and lumbar diseases. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are implicated in IDD. This study explored the mechanism of lncRNA HOTAIR in IDD. Methods. Normal and degenerative nucleus pulposus (NP) cells were isolated from NP tissues obtained in intervertebral disc surgery. Cell morphology was observed by immunocytochemistry staining and toluidine blue staining. NP cell markers were detected by RT-qPCR. Proliferation was detected by MTT assay. Autophagy-related proteins were detected by Western blot. Autophagosome was observed by monodansylcadaverine fluorescence staining. Apoptosis was detected by TUNEL staining and flow cytometry. si-HOTAIR and/or miR-148a inhibitor was introduced into degenerative NP cells. Binding relationships among HOTAIR, miR-148a, and PTEN were predicted and verified by dual-luciferase reporter assay and RNA pull-down. Finally, IDD rat models were established. Rat caudal intervertebral discs were assessed by HE staining. Expressions of HOTAIR, miR-148a, and PTEN were determined by RT-qPCR. Results. HOTAIR was highly expressed in degenerative NP cells p < 0.05 . si-HOTAIR inhibited degenerative NP cell apoptosis and autophagy p < 0.05 . HOTAIR upregulated PTEN as a sponge of miR-148a. miR-148a was poorly expressed in degenerative NP cells. miR-148a deficiency partially reversed the inhibition of si-HOTAIR on degenerative NP cell autophagy and apoptosis (all p < 0.05 ). In vivo assay confirmed that si-HOTAIR impeded autophagy and apoptosis in intervertebral disc tissues, thus improving pathological injury in IDD rats (all p < 0.05 ). Conclusion. LncRNA HOTAIR promoted NP cell autophagy and apoptosis via promoting PTEN expression as a ceRNA of miR-148a in IDD.

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