Conditioned Medium of Intervertebral Disc Cells Inhibits Osteo-Genesis on Autologous Bone-Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Osteoblasts.

Chen, Shuimu; Croft, Andreas S.; Bigdon, Sebastian; Albers, Christoph E.; Li, Zhen; Gantenbein, Benjamin (2024). Conditioned Medium of Intervertebral Disc Cells Inhibits Osteo-Genesis on Autologous Bone-Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Osteoblasts. Biomedicines, 12(2) MDPI 10.3390/biomedicines12020376

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Low back pain (LBP) is associated with the degeneration of human intervertebral discs (IVDs). Despite progress in the treatment of LBP through spinal fusion, some cases still end in non-fusion after the removal of the affected IVD tissue. In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that the remaining IVD cells secrete BMP inhibitors that are sufficient to inhibit osteogenesis in autologous osteoblasts (OBs) and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). A conditioned medium (CM) from primary human IVD cells in 3D alginate culture was co-cultured with seven donor-matched OB and MSCs. After ten days, osteogenesis was quantified at the transcript level using qPCR to measure the expression of bone-related genes and BMP antagonists, and at the protein level by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Additionally, cells were evaluated histologically using alizarin red (ALZR) staining on Day 21. For judging ALP activity and osteogenesis, the Noggin expression in samples was investigated to uncover the potential causes. The results after culture with the CM showed significantly decreased ALP activity and the inhibition of the calcium deposit formation in alizarin red staining. Interestingly, no significant changes were found among most bone-related genes and BMP antagonists in OBs and MSCs. Noteworthy, Noggin was relatively expressed higher in human IVD cells than in autologous OBs or MSCs (relative to autologous OB, the average fold change was in 6.9, 10.0, and 6.3 in AFC, CEPC, and NPC, respectively; and relative to autologous MSC, the average fold change was 2.3, 3.4, and 3.2, in AFC, CEPC, and NPC, respectively). The upregulation of Noggin in residual human IVDs could potentially inhibit the osteogenesis of autologous OB and MSC, thus inhibiting the postoperative spinal fusion after discectomy surgery.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original 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:

Chen, Shuimu, Croft, Andreas Shaun, Bigdon, Sebastian, Albers, Christoph E., Gantenbein, Benjamin


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

27 Feb 2024 08:32

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2024 08:41

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

conditioned medium intervertebral disc mesenchymal stromal cell osteoblast osteogenesis spinal fusion




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