[Altered expression of endogenous transforming growth factor β1 and early calcification related genes in rat endplate].Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi 2011; 91(31):2181-5ZY
To explore the relationship between endogenous transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and calcification-related genes through an in vitro degeneration model by propagating rat endplate chondrocytes during a natural degeneration process.
Endplate chondrocytes were extracted from rat lumbar vertebrae, isolated by enzyme digestion and P2 and P4 generations selected for a 6-day in vitro culture. The specimens were photographed microscopically to observe the cellular differences by alizarin red staining. Type II collagen marker gene, transcription factor SOX-9 gene and metabolism-related genes proteoglycan. matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS)-4 and ADAMTS-5 were detected by RT-PCR to verify the degeneration model. Based on this model, the changes of growth factor TGF-β1 and calcification-related genes ankyrin (ANK), ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase (ENPP), tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) were continuously tested.
Compared with P2 cells, P4 cells tended to assume a spindle-shaped morphology. And alizarin red staining showed no change between them. The level of transcription factor SOX-9 of P4 cells (P4/P2 = 0.0690, P = 0.0489) was significantly lower than that of P2 cells. Type II collagen (P4/P2 = 0.0535, P = 0.009) and proteoglycan (P4/P2 = 0.2672, P = 0.0343) were also significantly lower than those of P2 cells. No significant changes were observed in other metabolism-related genes. TGF-β1 (P4/P2 = 0.5934, P = 0.0482) was significantly lower. The expressions of TNAP (P4/P2 = 0.0385, P = 0.0139) and ANK (P4/P2 = 0.2121, P = 0.0009) were significantly lower. But ENPP showed no significant change.
P4 endplate chondrocytes undergo natural degeneration in vitro with the rising passage number. Type II collagen, SOX-9 and proteoglycan are significantly reduced. Endogenous TGF-β1 gene and calcification-related genes are down-regulated. The decrease of ANK gene may be caused by the down-regulation of endogenous TGF-β1. Modulating the expression of endogenous TGF-β1 gene in endplate chondrocytes may become a new therapeutic approach for the degeneration of intervertebral disc.