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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2481712, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/2481712
Research Article

Effect of Static Load on the Nucleus Pulposus of Rabbit Intervertebral Disc Motion Segment in an Organ Culture

1General Orthopedics Department, Wangjing Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100102, China
2Key Laboratory of Beijing of Palasy Technology, Wangjing Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100102, China
3Spine Department 2, Wangjing Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100102, China
4Pathology Department, Wangjing Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100102, China

Received 10 April 2016; Revised 6 August 2016; Accepted 21 August 2016

Academic Editor: Panagiotis Korovessis

Copyright © 2016 Jia-Wen Zhan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The development of mechanically active culture systems helps in understanding of the role of mechanical stress in intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration. Motion segment cultures facilitate the application and control of mechanical loads. The purpose of this study was to establish a culturing method for rabbit IVD motion segments to observe the effect of static load on the whole disc organ. Segments were cultured in custom-made apparatuses under a constant, compressive load (3 kg) for 2 weeks. Tissue integrity, matrix synthesis, and matrix gene expression profile were assessed and compared with fresh one. The results showed ex vivo culturing of samples gradually destroyed the morphology. Proteoglycan contents and gene expression were decreased and downregulated obviously. However, immunohistochemical staining intensity and collagen type II gene expression were significantly enhanced and upregulated. In contrast, these trends were reversed under constant compression. These results indicated short-term static load stimulated the synthesis of type II collagen; however, constant compression led to progressive degeneration and specifically to proteoglycan. Through this study a loading and organ-culturing system for ex vivo rabbit IVD motion segments was developed, which can be used to study the effects of mechanical stimulation on the biology of IVDs and the pathomechanics of IVD degeneration.