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J Orthop Res. 2006 Oct;24(10):1967-73.

Frequency response of pig intervertebral disc cells subjected to dynamic hydrostatic pressure.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4L7, and Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City 52242, USA.


The pathogenesis of vibration-induced disorders of intervertebral disc at the cellular level is largely unknown. Dynamic loads with frequencies close to that of the in vivo human spine resonant frequency (4-6 Hz) have a destructive effect, which may induce extracellular disc matrix (ECM) degradation. To investigate this issue, three-dimensional (3D) alginate cultures of normal pig intervertebral disc nucleus and inner annulus cells were tested under dynamic hydrostatic loading. Alginate cultures of each region were divided into six groups; five groups were exposed to cyclic hydrostatic pressures of frequencies 1, 3, 5, 8, and 10 Hz with the same amplitude (1 MPa), and group 6 was the control group (no loading). Cultures of different groups were loaded for 3 days (30 min daily) in a hydraulic chamber. Effects of loading frequency on disc collagen and protein metabolism were investigated by measuring 3H-proline-labeled proteins associated with the cells in the extracellular matrix and release of 3H-proline-labeled molecules into culture medium. The results indicated a poor synthesis rate and more degradation near the 5 Hz frequency. The repeatability of experiments was verified by performing two experiments with the same protocol. Both experiments indicated that a threshold frequency of around 5 Hz disrupted protein metabolism.

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