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Emerg Microbes Infect. 2018 Jan 10;7(1):1. doi: 10.1038/s41426-017-0002-0.

Propionibacterium acnes induces intervertebral disc degeneration by promoting nucleus pulposus cell apoptosis via the TLR2/JNK/mitochondrial-mediated pathway.

Lin Y1,2, Jiao Y1,2, Yuan Y1,2, Zhou Z3, Zheng Y4, Xiao J5, Li C6, Chen Z7,8, Cao P9,10.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopedics, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200000, China.
2
Shanghai Key Laboratory for Prevention and Treatment of Bone and Joint Diseases with Integrated Chinese-Western Medicine, Shanghai Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200000, China.
3
Department of Orthopedics, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200000, China.
4
Department of Orthopedics, Ruijin Hospital North, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200000, China.
5
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200000, China.
6
Shanghai Key Laboratory for Prevention and Treatment of Bone and Joint Diseases with Integrated Chinese-Western Medicine, Shanghai Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200000, China. changwei393331@163.com.
7
Department of Orthopedics, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200000, China. drchenzhe@live.com.
8
Shanghai Key Laboratory for Prevention and Treatment of Bone and Joint Diseases with Integrated Chinese-Western Medicine, Shanghai Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200000, China. drchenzhe@live.com.
9
Department of Orthopedics, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200000, China. dr_caopeng8@163.com.
10
Shanghai Key Laboratory for Prevention and Treatment of Bone and Joint Diseases with Integrated Chinese-Western Medicine, Shanghai Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200000, China. dr_caopeng8@163.com.

Abstract

Evidence suggests that intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) can be induced by Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), although the underlying mechanisms are unclear. In this study, we analyzed the pathological changes in degenerated human intervertebral discs (IVDs) infected with P. acnes. Compared with P. acnes-negative samples, P. acnes-positive IVDs showed increased apoptosis of nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) concomitant with severe IVDD. Then, a P. acnes-inoculated IVD animal model was established, and severe IVDD was induced by P. acnes infection by promoting NPC apoptosis. The results suggested that P.acnes-induced apoptosis of NPCs via the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway and mitochondrial-mediated cell death. In addition, P. acnes was found to activate autophagy, which likely plays a role in apoptosis of NPCs. Overall, these findings further validated the involvement of P. acnes in the pathology of IVDD and provided evidence that P. acnes-induced apoptosis of NPCs via the TLR2/JNK pathway is likely responsible for the pathology of IVDD.

PMID:
29323102
PMCID:
PMC5837142
DOI:
10.1038/s41426-017-0002-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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