Expression of receptors for putative anabolic growth factors in human intervertebral disc: implications for repair and regeneration of the disc.

LE MAITRE, Christine L, RICHARDSON, Stephen M A, BAIRD, Pauline, FREEMONT, Anthony J and HOYLAND, Judith A (2005). Expression of receptors for putative anabolic growth factors in human intervertebral disc: implications for repair and regeneration of the disc. The Journal of Pathology, 207 (4), 445-452.

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    Low back pain (LBP) is a common, debilitating and economically important disorder. Current evidence implicates loss of intervertebral disc (IVD) matrix consequent upon 'degeneration' as a major cause of LBP. Degeneration of the IVD involves increases in degradative enzymes and decreases in the extracellular matrix (ECM) component in a process that is controlled by a range of cytokines and growth factors. Studies have suggested using anabolic growth factors to regenerate the normal matrix of the IVD, hence restoring disc height and reversing degenerative disc disease. However, for such therapies to be successful it is vital that the target cells (i.e. the disc cells) express the appropriate receptors. This immunohistochemical study has for the first time investigated the expression and localization of four potentially beneficial growth factor receptors (i.e. TGFbetaRII, BMPRII, FGFR3 and IGFRI) in non-degenerate and degenerate human IVDs. Receptor expression was quantified across regions of the normal and degenerate disc and showed that cells of the nucleus pulposus (NP) and inner annulus fibrosus (IAF) expressed significantly higher levels of the four growth factor receptors investigated. There were no significant differences between the four growth factor expression in non-degenerate and degenerate biopsies. However, expression of TGFbetaRII, FGFR3 and IGFRI, but not BMP RII, were observed in the ingrowing blood vessels that characterize part of the disease aetiology. In conclusion, this study has demonstrated the expression of the four growth factor receptors at similar levels in the chondrocyte-like cells of the NP and IAF in both non-degenerate and degenerate discs, implicating a role in normal disc homeostasis and suggesting that the application of these growth factors to the degenerate human IVD would stimulate matrix production. However, the expression of some of the growth factor receptors on ingrowing blood vessels might be problematic in a therapeutic approach.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Article first published online: 8 NOV 2005
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Biomedical Research Centre
    Identification Number:
    Page Range: 445-452
    Depositing User: Jamie Young
    Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 09:38
    Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 18:46

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