Immunohistochemical demonstration of lumbar intervertebral disc innervation in the dog.

Willenegger, S.; Friess, Armin Ernst; Lang, Johann; Stoffel, Michael Hubert (2005). Immunohistochemical demonstration of lumbar intervertebral disc innervation in the dog. Anatomia, histologia, embryologia, 34(2), pp. 123-128. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/j.1439-0264.2004.00593.x

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Low back pain is a common ailment in dogs, particularly in specific breeds such as the German shepherd dog. A number of structures such as facet joint capsules, ligaments, dorsal root ganglia, periosteum, vertebral endplates and meninges have been associated with this condition. Yet, in spite of all diagnostic efforts, the origin of pain remains obscure in a substantial proportion of all cases. A further structure often being involved in vertebral column disorders is the intervertebral disc. The presence of nerves, however, is a precondition for pain sensation and, consequently, structures lacking innervation can be left out of consideration as a cause for low back pain. Nerve fibres have been demonstrated at the periphery of the intervertebral disc in man, rabbit and rat. With regard to the dog, however, the extent of intervertebral disc innervation is still being disputed. The goal of the present study, therefore, was to substantiate and expand current knowledge of intervertebral disc innervation. Protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 was used for immunohistochemical examination of serial transversal and sagittal paraffin sections of lumbar discs from adult dogs. This general marker revealed nerve fibres to be confined to the periphery of the intervertebral discs. These results indicate that even limited pathological processes affecting the outer layers of the intervertebral disc are prone to cause low back pain.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Anatomy
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > DKV - Clinical Radiology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Other Institutions > Emeriti, Vetsuisse Faculty

UniBE Contributor:

Friess, Armin Ernst; Lang, Johann and Stoffel, Michael Hubert


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Andrea Stettler

Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2014 16:22

Last Modified:

29 Sep 2014 11:14

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:



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