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Eur J Med Res. 2013 Dec 27;18:62. doi: 10.1186/2047-783X-18-62.

Gene expression analysis in response to osmotic stimuli in the intervertebral disc with DNA microarray.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Anhui Provincial Hospital, No, 17, Road Lujiang, Hefei 230001, China.



Intervertebral disc (IVD) cells experience a broad range of physicochemical stimuli under physiologic conditions, including alterations in their osmotic environment. At present, the molecular mechanisms underlying osmotic regulation in IVD cells are poorly understood. This study aims to screen genes affected by changes in osmotic pressure in cells of subjects aged 29 to 63 years old, with top-scoring pair (TSP) method.


Gene expression data set GSE1648 was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database, including four hyper-osmotic stimuli samples, four iso-osmotic stimuli samples, and three hypo-osmotic stimuli samples. A novel, simple method, referred to as the TSP, was used in this study. Through this method, there was no need to perform data normalization and transformation before data analysis.


A total of five pairs of genes ((CYP2A6, FNTB), (PRPF8, TARDBP), (RPS5, OAZ1), (SLC25A3, NPM1) and (CBX3, SRSF9)) were selected based on the TSP method. We inferred that all these genes might play important roles in response to osmotic stimuli and age in IVD cells. Additionally, hyper-osmotic and iso-osmotic stimuli conditions were adverse factors for IVD cells.


We anticipate that our results will provide new thoughts and methods for the study of IVD disease.

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