intervertebral 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. 1-15
Peng-Bo Chen ◽  
Gui-Xun Shi ◽  
Tao Liu ◽  
Bo Li ◽  
Sheng-Dan Jiang ◽  

The process of intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is complex, and its mechanism is considered multifactorial. Apoptosis of oxidative stressed nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) should be a fundamental element in the pathogenesis of IVDD. In our pilot study, we found that the expression of MAT2A decreased, and METTL16 increased in the degenerative nucleus pulposus tissues. Previous studies have shown that the balance of splicing, maturation, and degradation of MAT2A pre-mRNA is regulated by METTL16 m6A modification. In the current study, we aimed to figure out whether this mechanism was involved in the aberrant apoptosis of NPCs and IVDD. Human NPCs were isolated and cultured under oxidative stress. An IVDD animal model was established. It showed that significantly higher METTL16 expression and lower MAT2A expression were seen in either the NPCs under oxidative stress or the degenerative discs of the animal model. MAT2A was inhibited with siRNA in vitro or cycloleucine in vivo. METTL16 was overexpressed with lentivirus in vitro or in vivo. Downregulation of MAT2A or upregulation of METTL16 aggravated nucleus pulposus cell apoptosis and disc disorganization. The balance of splicing, maturation, and degradation of MAT2A pre-mRNA was significantly inclined to degradation in the NPCs with the overexpression of METTL16. Increased apoptosis of NPCs under oxidative stress could be rescued by reducing the expression of METTL16 using siRNA with more maturation of MAT2A pre-mRNA. Collectively, oxidative stress aggravates apoptosis of NPCs through disrupting the balance of splicing, maturation, and degradation of MAT2A pre-mRNA, which is m6A modified by METTL16.

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.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2022 ◽  
pp. 1-12
Taiqiu Chen ◽  
Pengfei Li ◽  
Jincheng Qiu ◽  
Wenjun Hu ◽  
Shaoguang Li ◽  

Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a degenerative disease that is characterized by decreased matrix synthesis and extra degradation, nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) apoptosis, and infiltration of inflammatory factors. Aloin, a colored compound from aloe plants, has been shown to be effective against skeletal degenerative diseases, but it is unclear whether it is protective against IDD. Herein, we investigated the role of aloin in NPCs. In our study, the upregulation of proinflammatory factors, apoptosis, and unbalanced matrix metabolism were observed in degenerative NP tissues. We found that aloin had a curative effect on extracellular matrix metabolism and apoptosis in TNF-alpha- (TNF-α-) treated NPCs by inhibiting oxidative stress and the proinflammatory factor expression. Further investigation revealed that aloin treatment suppressed the TAK1/NF-κB pathway. Moreover, the expression level of the NLPR3 inflammasome was downregulated after aloin treatment in TNF-α-treated NPCs. In summary, our results demonstrated that aloin treatment can reverse TNF-α-induced unbalanced matrix metabolism and apoptosis of NPCs via the TAK1/NF-κB/NLRP3 axis. This study supports that aloin can be a promising therapeutic agent for IDD.

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