Bovine coccygeal intervertebral discs contain multipotent Tie2+ cells which can differentiate into osteogenic and adipogenic lineages

Tekari, Adel; Chan, Samantha; Wuertz, Karin; Sakai, Daisuke; Benneker, Lorin M.; Grad, Sibylle; Gantenbein, Benjamin (1 March 2015). Bovine coccygeal intervertebral discs contain multipotent Tie2+ cells which can differentiate into osteogenic and adipogenic lineages. European spine journal(22), pp. 650-651. Springer

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Question: The intervertebral disc (IVD) has a limited regenerative potential and low back pain represents a leading cause of disability [1]. IVD repair strategies require an appropriate cell source that is able to regenerate the damaged tissue such as progenitor stem cells. Recently, progenitor cells that are positive for the angiopoietin re- ceptor (Tie2) in the nucleus pulposus were identified [2]. Here we isolated primary cells from bovine IVD and sorted bovine nucleus pulposus progenitor cells (NPPC) for the marker Tie2. Furthermorewe tested whether Tie2 expressing cells can differentiate into os- teogenic and adipogenic lineages in vitro.
Methods: NP cells were obtained from 1 year old bovine tails by sequential digestion with pronase for 1 h and collagenase over- night. Sorted Tie2- and Tie2+ cells were cultured in osteogenic and adipogenic medium for 3 weeks. The formed cell layers from both subpopulations were stained for calcium deposition and fat droplets. Colony forming units were prepared for both cell sus- pensions in methylcellulose-based medium and formed colonies ([10 cells) were analyzed macroscopically after 8 days.
Results: After 3 weeks of culture, sorted Tie2+ cells were able to differentiate into osteocytes and adipocytes as characterized by cal- cium deposition and fat droplet formation. By contrast, Tie2- cells generated a weak staining for calcium and no fat droplets were ob- tained (Fig. 1). Sorted Tie2- and Tie2+ subpopulations of cells both formed colonies, however with different morphologies. The colonies formed from Tie2+ cells were spheroid in shape whereas those from Tie2- cells were spread and fibroblastic.
Conclusion: Our data showed that Tie2+ cells of the nucleus pul- posus cells are progenitor-like cells that are able to differentiate into osteogenic and adipogenic lineages. Sorting of NPPC for Tie2 may represent a promising strategy with the potential to be used in the clinics for treatment of intervertebral disc damage.
1. Freemont AJ (2009) The cellular pathobiology of the degenerate intervertebral disc and discogenic back pain. Rheumatology (Oxford) 48:5–10
2. Sakai D, Nakamura Y, Nakai T et al (2012) Exhaustion of nucleus pulposus progenitor cells with ageing and degeneration of the intervertebral disc. Nat Commun 3:1264
Acknowledgments: This project was funded by two projects of the Swiss National Science Foundation grant number #IZK0Z3_154384 and #310030_153411.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Tekari, Adel, Chan, Samantha (A), Gantenbein, Benjamin


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






[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Adel Tekari

Date Deposited:

05 May 2015 12:09

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:34




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