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Ann Anat. 1993 Jun;175(3):237-42.

Detection of lymph and blood vessels in the human intervertebral disc by histochemical and immunohistochemical methods.

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Institute of Anatomy, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany.


Twenty-four intervertebral discs from the lumbar region of postmortem human subjects were investigated by immunohistochemical and histochemical methods to evaluate the pattern of blood and lymph vessels of the discus intervertebralis and surrounding tissue at different ages. Antibodies against the basement membrane component laminin, and the lectin Ulex europaeus agglutinin as a marker for L-fucose in endothelial cells, were used to make the blood vessels visible. The 5'-nucleotidase activity in lymph endothelium served as a marker for lymphatic vessels. The dorsolateral parts of the connective tissue adjacent to the discus intervertebralis were well vascularized in all age groups examined. Vessels in the outer anulus fibrosus were detected in young individuals up to 20 years of age. Vascular canals, i.e. blood vessels in the cartilage end plate, were seen up to 7 years of age. Lymph capillaries are first described here penetrating the disc and peridiscal tissue and accompanying most of the small blood vessels into the areas specified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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