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Open AccessArticle

Adrenoceptor Expression during Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

Dr. Rolf M. Schwiete Research Unit for Osteoarthritis, Orthopedic University Hospital Friedrichsheim gGmbH, 60528 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Clinic of Neurosurgery, Heinrich Heine University, 40225 Duesseldorf, Germany
School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(6), 2085;
Received: 14 January 2020 / Revised: 27 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 March 2020 / Published: 18 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intervertebral Disc Disease: From Pathophysiology to Novel Therapies)
Healthy and degenerating intervertebral discs (IVDs) are innervated by sympathetic nerves, however, adrenoceptor (AR) expression and functionality have never been investigated systematically. Therefore, AR gene expression was analyzed in both tissue and isolated cells from degenerated human IVDs. Furthermore, human IVD samples and spine sections of wildtype mice (WT) and of a mouse line that develops spontaneous IVD degeneration (IVDD, in SM/J mice) were stained for ARs and extracellular matrix (ECM) components. In IVD homogenates and cells α1a-, α1b-, α2a-, α2b-, α2c-, β1-, and β2-AR genes were expressed. In human sections, β2-AR was detectable, and its localization parallels with ECM alterations. Similarly, in IVDs of WT mice, only β2-AR was expressed, and in IVDs of SM/J mice, β2AR expression was stronger accompanied by increased collagen II, collagen XII, decorin as well as decreased cartilage oligomeric matrix protein expression. In addition, norepinephrine stimulation of isolated human IVD cells induced intracellular signaling via ERK1/2 and PKA. For the first time, the existence and functionality of ARs were demonstrated in IVD tissue samples, suggesting that the sympathicus might play a role in IVDD. Further studies will address relevant cellular mechanisms and thereby help to develop novel therapeutic options for IVDD. View Full-Text
Keywords: intervertebral disc (IVD); IVD degeneration (IVDD); sympathicus; adrenoceptors intervertebral disc (IVD); IVD degeneration (IVDD); sympathicus; adrenoceptors
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Kupka, J.; Kohler, A.; El Bagdadi, K.; Bostelmann, R.; Brenneis, M.; Fleege, C.; Chan, D.; Zaucke, F.; Meurer, A.; Rickert, M.; Jenei-Lanzl, Z. Adrenoceptor Expression during Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 2085.

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