Assessment of the Matrix Degenerative Effects of MMP-3, ADAMTS-4 and HTRA1 injected into a bovine Intervertebral Disc Organ Culture Model

Furtwängler, Tina; Chan, Samantha C. W.; Bahrenberg, Gregor; Richards, Peter J.; Gantenbein-Ritter, Benjamin (2013). Assessment of the Matrix Degenerative Effects of MMP-3, ADAMTS-4 and HTRA1 injected into a bovine Intervertebral Disc Organ Culture Model. Spine, 38(22), E1377-E1387. United States: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31829ffde8

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Study Design. In vitro study to develop an intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) organ culture model, using coccygeal bovine intervertebral discs (IVDs) and injection of proteolytic enzymes MMP-3, ADAMTS-4 and HTRA1.Objective. This study aimed to develop an in-vitro model of enzyme-mediated IDD to mimic the clinical outcome in humans for investigation of therapeutic treatment options.Summary of Background Data. Bovine IVDs are comparable to human IVDs in terms of cell composition and biomechanical behavior. Researchers injected papain and trypsin into them to create an IDD model with a degenerated nucleus pulposus (NP) area. They achieved macroscopic cavities as well as a loss of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). However, none of these enzymes are clinically relevant.Methods. Bovine IVDs were harvested maintaining the endplates. Active forms of MMP-3, ADAMTS-4 and HTRA1 were injected at a dose of 10μg/ml each. Phosphate buffered saline (PBS) was injected as a control. Discs were cultured for 8 days and loaded diurnally (day 1 to day 4 with 0.4 MPa for 16 h) and left under free swelling condition from day 4 to day 8 to avoid expected artifacts due to dehydration of the NP. Outcome parameters included disc height, metabolic cell activity, DNA content, glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content, total collagen content, relative gene expression and histological investigation.Results. The mean metabolic cell activity was significantly lower in the NP area of discs injected with ADAMTS-4 compared to the day 0 control discs. Disc height was decreased following injection with HTRA1, and was significantly correlated with changes in GAG/DNA of the NP tissue. Total collagen content tended to be lower in groups injected with ADAMTS4 and MMP-3.Conclusion. MMP-3, ADAMTS-4 and HTRA1 neither provoked visible matrix degradation nor major shifts in gene expression. However, cell activity was significantly reduced and HTRA1 induced loss of disc height which positively correlated with changes in GAG/DNA content. The use of higher doses of these enzymes or a combination thereof may therefore be necessary to induce disc degeneration

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Furtwängler, Tina, Chan, Samantha (A), Gantenbein, Benjamin


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Lippincott Williams & Wilkins




Benjamin Gantenbein

Date Deposited:

15 May 2014 10:44

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:33

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

research support, non-u.s. gov't


Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback