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Title: Cell clusters of the degenerate intervertebral disc and their potential for use in biological repair
Author: Turner, Sarah Anne
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2013
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Low back pain is associated with degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs (IVDs) of the spine. Much interest has been placed in recent years on the development of biological therapies for the repair of damaged IVDs. In this thesis, disc cells were assessed for their suitability for this role and in particular for the presence of a progenitor cell sub-population. Emphasis was placed on the analysis of cell clusters, formed from proliferation in the degenerate disc, as a possible source of progenitor cells. Surgical samples of IVD tissue from 100 patients undergoing routine spinal surgery were used to compare cells from within clusters to cells existing in isolation in vivo. IVD cell viability in situ was shown to be greater than often previously suggested, indicating that the IVD may represent an adequate source of autologous cells for biological therapy. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that both clustered and single cells stained positively for putative progenitor and notochordal markers, but there was no significant difference between the incidences in the 2 populations. Sub-culture and flow cytometry analysis of clustered and single IVD cells showed that both populations possessed markers indicative of mesenchymal stromal cells. Further, the clustered and single IVD cells were found to behave in a similar way when exposed to nutrient deprivation (modelling the avascular IVD environment). Single cells could be isolated in a consistent manner from IVDs and proliferated faster in vitro than those originating from clusters. Indeed, . contrary to the original hypothesis, clustered cells appeared no better than single cells as a cell source for biological therapy and the results derived from this thesis may suggest that those single cells in vivo should be used solely in a biological therapy for the regeneration of degenerate IVDs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available