Longitudinal changes in the structure and inflammatory response of the intervertebral disc due to stab injury in a murine organ culture model

Adam C. Abraham, Jennifer W. Liu, Simon Y. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the significant public health impact of intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration and low back pain, it remains challenging to investigate the multifactorial molecular mechanisms that drive the degenerative cascade. Organ culture model systems offer the advantage of allowing cells to live and interact with their native extracellular matrix, while simultaneously reducing the amount of biological variation and complexity present at the organismal level. Murine organ cultures in particular also allow the use of widely available genetically modified animals with molecular level reporters that would reveal insights on the degenerative cascade. Here, we utilize an organ culture system of murine lumbar functional spinal units where we are able to maintain the cellular, metabolic, and structural, and mechanical stability of the whole organ over a 21-day period. Furthermore, we describe a novel approach in organ culture by using tissues from animals with an NF-κB-luc reporter in combination with a mechanical injury model, and are able to show that proinflammatory factors and cytokines such as NF-κB and IL-6 produced by IVD cells can be monitored longitudinally during culture in a stab injury model. Taken together, we utilize a murine organ culture system that maintains the cellular and tissue level behavior of the intervertebral disc and apply it to transgenic animals that allow the monitoring of the inflammatory profile of IVDs. This approach could provide important insights on the molecular and metabolic mediators that regulate the homeostasis of the IVD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1431-1438
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Volume34
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • IL-6
  • NF-κβ
  • functional spine unit
  • intervertebral disc degeneration
  • organ culture

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