Differential Characterization of Two Kinds of Stem Cells Isolated from Rabbit Nucleus Pulposus and Annulus Fibrosus

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Abstract

Objective. Nucleus pulposus (NP) and annulus fibrosus (AF) are two main components of intervertebral disc (IVD). We aimed to figure out whether NP and AF also contain stem cells and whether these stem cells share common properties with chondrocytes and/or fibroblasts in their phenotypes or whether they are completely different types of cells with different characteristics. Design. The disk cells were isolated from AF and NP tissues of the same lumbar spine of the rabbits. The properties of these disk cells were characterized by their morphology, population doubling time (PDT), stem cell marker expression, and multidifferentiation potential using tissue culture techniques, immunocytochemistry, and RT-PCR. Results. Both disk cells formed colonies in culture and expressed stem cell markers, nucleostemin, Oct-4, SSEA-4, and Stro-1, at early passages. However, after 5 passages, AFSCs became elongated and NPSCs appeared senescent. Conclusion. This study indicated that IVD contains stem cells and the characteristics of AFSCs and NPSCs are intrinsically different. The findings of this study may provide basic scientific data for understanding the properties of IVD cells and the mechanisms of lower back pain.

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Sang, C., Cao, X., Chen, F., Yang, X., & Zhang, Y. (2016). Differential Characterization of Two Kinds of Stem Cells Isolated from Rabbit Nucleus Pulposus and Annulus Fibrosus. Stem Cells International, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/8283257

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