Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

The presence of pleiotrophin in pathological human intervertebral discs is associated with tissue vascularisation: An immunohistological study

Study Design:
An immunohistological study of pathological human intervertebral disc tissue.

Objective:
To examine the presence of pleiotrophin in diseased intervertebral disc tissue and the relationship between its presence and the extent of tissue vascularisation and innervation.

Summary of Background Data:
Increased levels of pleiotrophin, a growth / differentiation factor that is active in various pathophysiological processes, including angiogenesis, has been associated with osteoarthritic changes of human articular cartilage. The relationship between pleiotrophin expression and pathological conditions of the human intervertebral disc is unknown.

Methods:
Specimens of human lumbar intervertebral discs, obtained following surgical discectomy, were divided into 3 groups: non-degenerated discs (n=7), degenerated discs (n=6) and prolapsed discs (n=11). Serial tissue sections of each specimen were immunostained to determine the presence of pleiotrophin, blood vessels (CD34-positive endothelial cells) and nerves (neurofilament 200kD (NF200)-positive nerve fibres).

Results:
Pleiotrophin immunoreactivity was seen in disc cells, endothelial cells and in the extracellular matrix in most specimens of intervertebral disc, but was most prevalent in vascularised tissue in prolapsed tissue. There was a significant correlation between the presence of pleiotrophin-positive disc cells and that of CD34-positive blood vessels. NF200-positive nerves were seen in vascularised areas of more degenerated discs, but nerves did not appear to co-distribute with blood vessels or pleiotrophin-positivity in prolapsed discs.

Discussion:
Pleiotrophin is present in pathological human intervertebral discs and its relative prevalence and distribution suggests that it may play a role in neovascularisation of diseased or damaged tissue.

Reported by

THE ROBERT JONES AND AGNES HUNT ORTHOPAEDIC AND DISTRICT HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
Shropshire
SY10 7AG OSWESTRY
United Kingdom
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