The role of extracellular matrix elasticity and composition in regulating the nucleus pulposus cell phenotype in the intervertebral disc: a narrative review.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Intervertebral disc (IVD) disorders are a major contributor to disability and societal health care costs. Nucleus pulposus (NP) cells of the IVD exhibit changes in both phenotype and morphology with aging-related IVD degeneration that may impact the onset and progression of IVD pathology. Studies have demonstrated that immature NP cell interactions with their extracellular matrix (ECM) may be key regulators of cellular phenotype, metabolism and morphology. The objective of this article is to review our recent experience with studies of NP cell-ECM interactions that reveal how ECM cues can be manipulated to promote an immature NP cell phenotype and morphology. Findings demonstrate the importance of a soft (<700 Pa), laminin-containing ECM in regulating healthy, immature NP cells. Knowledge of NP cell-ECM interactions can be used for development of tissue engineering or cell delivery strategies to treat IVD-related disorders.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hwang, PY; Chen, J; Jing, L; Hoffman, BD; Setton, LA

Published Date

  • February 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 136 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 021010 -

PubMed ID

  • 24390195

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4023659

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-8951

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0148-0731

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1115/1.4026360


  • eng