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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 1049; doi:10.3390/ijms18051049

A Histopathological Scheme for the Quantitative Scoring of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration and the Therapeutic Utility of Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration

Raymond Purves Bone and Joint Research Laboratory, Kolling Institute, Northern Sydney Local Health District, St. Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Sydney, Camden, NSW 2050, Australia
Sydney Medical School, Northern, The University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia
Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 12 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bone and Cartilage Research)
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The purpose of this study was to develop a quantitative histopathological scoring scheme to evaluate disc degeneration and regeneration using an ovine annular lesion model of experimental disc degeneration. Toluidine blue and Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) staining were used to evaluate cellular morphology: (i) disc structure/lesion morphology; (ii) proteoglycan depletion; (iii) cellular morphology; (iv) blood vessel in-growth; (v) cell influx into lesion; and (vi) cystic degeneration/chondroid metaplasia. Three study groups were examined: 5 × 5 mm lesion; 6 × 20 mm lesion; and 6 × 20 mm lesion plus mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatment. Lumbar intervertebral discs (IVDs) were scored under categories (i–vi) to provide a cumulative score, which underwent statistical analysis using STATA software. Focal proteoglycan depletion was associated with 5 × 5 mm annular rim lesions, bifurcations, annular delamellation, concentric and radial annular tears and an early influx of blood vessels and cells around remodeling lesions but the inner lesion did not heal. Similar features in 6 × 20 mm lesions occurred over a 3–6-month post operative period. MSCs induced a strong recovery in discal pathology with a reduction in cumulative histopathology degeneracy score from 15.2 to 2.7 (p = 0.001) over a three-month recovery period but no recovery in carrier injected discs. View Full-Text
Keywords: histopathology scoring; AF; disc degeneration; IVD; quantitative histology histopathology scoring; AF; disc degeneration; IVD; quantitative histology

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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Shu, C.C.; Smith, M.M.; Smith, S.M.; Dart, A.J.; Little, C.B.; Melrose, J. A Histopathological Scheme for the Quantitative Scoring of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration and the Therapeutic Utility of Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1049.

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