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Stem Cells International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 7564159, 13 pages
Research Article

Transplantation of Hypoxic-Preconditioned Bone Mesenchymal Stem Cells Retards Intervertebral Disc Degeneration via Enhancing Implanted Cell Survival and Migration in Rats

1Department of Orthopaedics, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200003, China
2Department of Orthopaedics, Nanjing General Hospital, Nanjing 210000, China
3Trauma Center, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 201620, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xiaojian Ye

Received 12 September 2017; Revised 13 November 2017; Accepted 22 November 2017; Published 14 February 2018

Academic Editor: Kivanc Atesok

Copyright © 2018 Weiheng Wang 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.


Objective. Special hypoxic and hypertonic microenvironment in intervertebral discs (IVDs) decreases the treatment effect of cell transplantation. We investigated the hypothesis that hypoxic preconditioning (HP) could improve the therapeutic effect of bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) to IVD degeneration. Methods. BMSCs from green fluorescent protein-transgenic rats were pretreated with cobalt chloride (CoCl2, 100 μM, 24 h) for hypoxic conditions in vitro. Apoptosis (related pathways of caspase-3 and bcl-2) and migration (related pathways of HIF-1α and CXCR4) were detected in BMSCs. In vivo, BMSCs and HP BMSCs (H-BMSCs) were injected into the rat model of IVD degeneration. The IVD height, survival, migration, and differentiation of transplanted BMSCs and matrix protein expression (collagen II, aggrecan, and MMP-13) were tested. Results. H-BMSCs could extensively decrease IVD degeneration by increasing IVD height and collagen II and aggrecan expressions when compared with BMSCs. Significantly, more GFP-positive BMSCs were observed in the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus regions of IVD. HP could significantly decrease BMSC apoptosis (activating bcl-2 and inhibiting caspase-3) and improve BMSC migration (increasing HIF-1α and CXCR4) in vitro. Conclusion. HP could significantly enhance the capacity of BMSCs to repair DDD by increasing the survival and migration of implanted cells and increasing matrix protein expression.