The metabolic role of IL-4 and IL-10 in Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

Bermudez-Lekerika, Paola; Tseranidou, Sofia; Kanelis, Exarchos; Crump, Katherine B.; Le Maitre, Christine; Wuertz-Kosak, Karin; Alexopoulus, Leonidas G.; Noailly, Jérôme; Gantenbein, Benjamin (2023). The metabolic role of IL-4 and IL-10 in Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. In: 31st Annual Meeting of the European Orthopaedic Research Society. Porto, Portugal. 27-29 September.

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Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is a pathological process often associated with chronic back pain and considered a leading cause of disability worldwide1 . During degeneration, progressive structural and biochemical changes occur, leading to blood vessel and nerve ingrowth and promoting discogenic pain2 . In the last decades, several cytokines have been applied to IVD cells in vitro to investigate the degenerative cascade. Particularly, IL-10 and IL-4 have been predicted as important anabolic factors in the IVD according to a regulatory network model based in silico approach3 . Thus, we aim to investigate the potential presence and anabolic effect of IL-10 and IL-4 in human NP cells (in vitro) and explants (ex vivo) under hypoxia (5% O2) after a catabolic induction.

Primary human NP cells were expanded, encapsulated in 1.2% alginate beads (4 x 106 cells/ml) and cultured for two weeks in 3D for phenotype recovery while human NP explants were cultured for five days. Afterwards, both alginate and explant cultures were i) cultured for two days and subsequently treated with 10 ng/ml IL-10 or IL-4 (single treatments) or ii) stimulated with 0.1 ng/ml IL-1β for two days and subsequently treated with 10 ng/ml IL-10 or IL-4 (combined treatments).

The presence of IL-4 receptor, IL-4 and IL-10 was confirmed in human intact NP tissue (Fig 1). Additionally, IL-4 single and combined treatments induced a significant increase of proinflammatory protein secretion in vitro (Fig. 2A-C) and ex vivo (Fig. 2D and E). In contrast, no significant differences were observed in the secretome between IL-10 single and combined treatments compared to control group.

Overall, IL-4 containing treatments promote human NP cell and explant catabolism in contrast to previously reported IL-4 anti-inflammatory performance4 . Thus, a possible pleiotropic effect of IL-4 could occur depending on the IVD culture and environmental condition.

References:1 J. Hartvigsen et al (2018) The Lancet 391:2356-67, 2 PPA. Vergroesen et al (2015) Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 23:1165-77, 3 S. Tseranidou et al, EBS 2023 28th

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Bermudez, Paola, Crump, Katherine Briana, Gantenbein, Benjamin


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Benjamin Gantenbein

Date Deposited:

16 Nov 2023 12:45

Last Modified:

16 Nov 2023 15:09




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