eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2015   Volume No 30 – pages 132-147

Title: The species-specific regenerative effects of notochordal cell-conditioned medium on chondrocyte-like cells derived from degenerated human intervertebral discs

Authors: FC Bach, SAH de Vries, A Krouwels, LB Creemers, K Ito, BP Meij, MA Tryfonidou

Address: Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 108, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands

E-mail: m.a.tryfonidou at

Key Words: Intervertebral disc degeneration, nucleus pulposus, notochordal cells, notochordal cell-conditioned medium, canine, porcine, human, regenerative medicine, tissue repair.

Publication date: September 21st 2015

Abstract: During intervertebral disc (IVD) maturation, the main cell type shifts from notochordal cells (NCs) to chondrocyte-like cells (CLCs). NCs secrete factors with regenerative potential, making them an interesting focus for regenerative treatments. During initial development, these strategies preferably employ non-human donors due to easy availability of their NC-rich nucleus pulposus (NP) tissue. To increase the success of translating these strategies for clinical application, this study aimed to delineate whether NC-secreted factors of different species have a regenerative effect on human CLCs. Human, canine and porcine NC-rich NP tissue and NC-conditioned medium (NCCM) were analysed biochemically and histologically. Human CLC micro-aggregates from degenerated IVDs were cultured in human, canine or porcine NCCM. Collagen, glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and DNA content was determined and histology was performed. Canine and porcine NPs were richer in NCs than human NPs. Human NPs contained the highest collagen content, whereas the DNA and GAG content of canine NPs was significantly higher than that of human or porcine NPs. NCCM from all species significantly increased the DNA and GAG content of the human CLC micro-aggregates. Porcine and canine NCCM were significantly more potent than human NCCM in inducing GAG deposition, whereas only human NCCM induced collagen type II production. Secreted factors from human, canine and porcine NC-rich NPs exerted regenerative effects on human CLCs, indicating a cross-species effect. Bioactive compound(s) are present in NCCM of different species that may reverse human IVD degeneration, supporting further research into strategies based on NC-technology employing canine or porcine models for their translation into humans.

Article download: Pages 132-137 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v030a10