Cartilaginous endplates: A comprehensive review on a neglected structure in intervertebral disc research

Crump, Katherine B.; Alminnawi, Ahmad; Bermudez-Lekerika, Paola; Compte, Roger; Gualdi, Francesco; McSweeney, Terence; Muñoz-Moya, Estefano; Nüesch, Andrea; Geris, Liesbet; Dudli, Stefan; Karppinen, Jaro; Noailly, Jérôme; Le Maitre, Christine; Gantenbein, Benjamin (2023). Cartilaginous endplates: A comprehensive review on a neglected structure in intervertebral disc research. JOR Spine, 6(4), e1294. Wiley 10.1002/jsp2.1294

Crump_2023.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (3MB) | Preview

Abstract The cartilaginous endplates (CEP) are key components of the intervertebral disc (IVD) necessary for sustaining the nutrition of the disc while distributing mechanical loads and preventing the disc from bulging into the adjacent vertebral body. The size, shape, and composition of the CEP are essential in maintaining its function, and degeneration of the CEP is considered a contributor to early IVD degeneration. In addition, the CEP is implicated in Modic changes, which are often associated with low back pain. This review aims to tackle the current knowledge of the CEP regarding its structure, composition, permeability, and mechanical role in a healthy disc, how they change with degeneration, and how they connect to IVD degeneration and low back pain. Additionally, the authors suggest a standardized naming convention regarding the CEP and bony endplate and suggest avoiding the term vertebral endplate. Currently, there is limited data on the CEP itself as reported data is often a combination of CEP and bony endplate, or the CEP is considered as articular cartilage. However, it is clear the CEP is a unique tissue type that differs from articular cartilage, bony endplate, and other IVD tissues. Thus, future research should investigate the CEP separately to fully understand its role in healthy and degenerated IVDs. Further, most IVD regeneration therapies in development failed to address, or even considered the CEP, despite its key role in nutrition and mechanical stability within the IVD. Thus, the CEP should be considered and potentially targeted for future sustainable treatments.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


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:

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


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Benjamin Gantenbein

Date Deposited:

01 Dec 2023 10:21

Last Modified:

14 Jan 2024 02:41

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

biologic therapies, biomechanics, degeneration, pre-clinical models




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback