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Eur Spine J. 2012 Apr;21(4):613-22. doi: 10.1007/s00586-011-2039-4. Epub 2011 Oct 28.

Study to determine the presence of progenitor cells in the degenerated human cartilage endplates.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400037, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Cartilage endplate (CEP) degeneration is usually accompanied by loss of cellularity, and this loss may be a crucial key factor in initiation and development of degenerative disc disease. The study of cell types in degenerated CEP could help in understanding CEP etiopathogenesis, and may help in devising new treatments, especially if the presence of progenitor cells could be demonstrated. The aim of this study was to determine if progenitor cells existed in degenerated human CEP.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Cells isolated from CEP were cultured in a three-dimensional agarose suspension to screen for proliferative cell clusters. Cell clusters were then expanded in vitro and the populations were analyzed for colony forming unit, immunophenotype, multilineage induction, and expression of stem cell-related genes.

RESULTS:

The presence of progenitor cells in degenerated human CEP is indicated by the results of CFU, immunophenotype, multilineage induction, and expression of stem cell-related genes.

CONCLUSIONS:

We believe that this is the first study which has conclusively shown the presence of progenitor cells in degenerated CEP. The finding of this study may influence the clinical management of degenerative disc disorder.

PMID:
22033570
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3326140
Free PMC Article
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