Title

Biomechanical And Endplate Effects On Nutrient Transport In The Intervertebral Disc

Department

neurobiology

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Background Physical data are lacking on nutrient transport in human intervertebral discs (IVDs), which support regeneration. Our objective was to study nutrient transport in porcine IVDs to determine the effects of biomechanical and physiological factors. Methods In vitro testing of whole porcine IVDs was performed under different loading conditions. Fifty cervical, thoracic, and lumbar discs with attached end plates were removed from 4 Yorkshire pigs (90–150 lbs). Discs were placed in Safranin O or Fast Green FCF histological stains in diffusion or diurnal compression-tested groups. The end plate was studied by the use of polyurethane to block it. Traction was studied with a mechanical testing frame. Discs were cut transversely and photographed. Images were analyzed for depth of annulus fibrosus (AF) stained. The nucleus pulposus (NP) was assigned a staining score. Results Results showed no difference in AF staining between the 2 stains (P = 0.60). The depth of AF staining did not increase (P = 0.60) due to convection or disc height change via diurnal loading. The NP in all open end plate samples was stained completely by day 3. NP staining was decreased in blocked end plate samples (P = 0.07) and AF staining was significantly less in traction samples than in diffusion-only samples (P = 0.04). Conclusions This method showed that most small molecule nutrient transport occurs via the end plate. Compressive load was a negligible benefit or hindrance to transport. Traction hindered transport in the short term. This method can be used to study strategies for increasing nutrient transport in IVDs.

Publication Date

3-1-2017

Publication Title

World Neurosurgery

ISSN

18788750

Volume

99

First Page

395

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1016/j.wneu.2016.12.041

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