Vascular endothelial growth factor in degenerating intervertebral discs of rat caudal vertebrae

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Jun Sato1)2), Kazuhide Inage1), Masayuki Miyagi3), Yoshihiro Sakuma4), Kazuyo Yamauchi1), Masahiko Suzuki1), Masao Koda1), Takeo Furuya1), Junichi Nakamura1), Yawara Eguchi5), Miyako Suzuki1), Go Kubota6), Yasuhiro Oikawa7), Takeshi Sainoh8), Kazuki Fujimoto1), Yasuhiro Shiga1), Koki Abe1), Hirohito Kanamoto1), Masahiro Inoue1), Hideyuki Kinoshita1), Masaki Norimoto1), Tomotaka Umimura1), Kazuhisa Takahashi1), Seiji Ohtori1), Sumihisa Orita1)

1) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba, Japan
2) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chiba Aoba Municipal Hospital, Chiba, Japan
3) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kitasato University Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan
4) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Hospital Organization Chiba Medical Center, Chiba, Japan
5) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Hospital Organization Shimoshizu National Hospital, Chiba, Japan
6) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Eastern Chiba Medical Center, Chiba, Japan
7) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chiba Children's Hospital, Chiba, Japan
8) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sainou Hospital, Toyama, Japan

Abstract:

Introduction: Discogenic back pain remains poorly understood with respect to etiopathogenesis, despite being a considerable burden. We sought to examine the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in injured intervertebral discs in rat caudal vertebrae.
Methods: Forty-eight male Sprague Dawley rats were assigned to 2 groups according to disc puncture injury: puncture (n = 32) or non-puncture (n = 16). Disc puncture was performed percutaneously such that the incision would be in the primary plane of motion for the coccygeal discs 5-6, 6-7, and 7-8. A 26-gauge needle was used to puncture each disc 10 times. Punctured discs were examined histologically by hematoxylin and eosin staining at 1, 7, 14, and 28 days post-injury.
Results: Vascular endothelial growth factor was localized immunohistochemically, and determined quantitatively using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Peak inflammation occurred on the 7th day post-injury, but tissue degeneration continued until day 28. Local expression of vascular endothelial growth factor tended to be highest in the annulus fibrosus on the 7th and 14th days after puncture injury. The level of vascular endothelial growth factor was highest 1-day post-injury, and then gradually decreased thereafter. Furthermore, vascular endothelial growth factor levels in the puncture group were significantly higher than those in the non-puncture control group (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: We found increased expression of the inflammatory cytokine vascular endothelial growth factor in injured intervertebral discs, suggesting that vascular endothelial growth factor may be clinically important in discogenic back pain.

Released: January 27, 2018; doi: dx.doi.org/10.22603/ssrr.2017-0026