NonViral Gene Delivery of Growth and Differentiation Factor 6 (GDF6) to whole bovine Intervertebral Disc

May, Rahel; Frauchiger, Daniela Angelika; Gazdhar, Amiq Ur Rahman; Geiser, Thomas; Benneker, Lorin Michael; Gantenbein, Benjamin (2015). NonViral Gene Delivery of Growth and Differentiation Factor 6 (GDF6) to whole bovine Intervertebral Disc (Unpublished). In:, Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on Biotechnologies for Spinal Surgery.

Question: Low back pain is an increasing global health problem, which is associated with intervertebral disc (IVD) damage and de- generation. Major changes occur in the nucleus pulposus (NP), with the degradation of the extracellular matrix (ECM) [1]. Further studies showed that growth factors from the transforming growth factor (TGF) and bone morphogenic proteins (BMP) family may induce chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) [2]. Focusing on non-viral gene therapies and their possible translation into the clinics, we investigated if GDF6 (syn. BMP13 or CDMP2) can induce regeneration of degraded NP. We hypothesized that IVD transfected with plasmid over-expressing GDF6 also up-regulates other NP- and chondrogenic cell markers and enhances ECM deposition.
Methods: Bovine IVD cells were isolated by pronase/collagenase II overnight digestion. After monolayer expansion up to passage 3, cells were transfected with the plasmid pGDF6 (RG211366, Origene, SF) or with green fluorescence protein (GFP) control using the NeonÒ transfection system (Invitrogen, Basel), both equipped with a Cy- tomegalovirus (CMV) promotor to induce over-expression. We tested a range of yet unpublished parameters for each of the primary disc cells to optimize efficiency. To test a non-viral gene therapy applied directly to 3D whole organ culture, bovine IVDs were harvested from fresh tails obtained from the abattoir within 5 h post-mortem [3]. Discs were then pre-incubated for 24 h in high glucose Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium and 5 % fetal calf serum. Each disc was transfected by injection of 5 lg of plasmid GDF6 (Origene, RG211366) into the center by 25G needle and using Hamilton sy- ringe. Electroporation was performed using 2-needle array electrode or tweezertrodes; 8 pulses at 200mv/cm with an interval of 10 ms were applied using ECM830 Square Wave Electroporation System (Harvard Apparatus, MA) (Fig. 1). After transfection discs were cultured for 72 h to allow expression of GFP or GDF6. Discs were then fixed, cryosectioned and analysed by immunofluorescence against GDF6.
Results: We successfully transfected bovine NP and AF cells in monolayer culture with the two plasmids using a 1,400 V, 20 ms and 2 pulses with a *25 % efficiency using 0.15 M cells and 3 lg DNA (Fig. 1). Organ IVD culture transfection revealed GFP6 positive staining in the centre of the disc using 2-needle array electrode. Results from tweezertrodes did not show any GFP posi- tive cells.
Conclusions: We identified novel parameters to successfully transfect primary bovine IVD cells. For transfection of whole IVD explants electroporation parameters need to be further optimized. Acknowledgments: This study was supported by the Lindenhof Foundation ‘‘Forschung und Lehre’’ (Project no. 13-02-F).
1. Roughly PJ (2004) Spine (Phila) 29:2691–2699
2. 3.
Clarke LE, McConell JC, Sherratt MJ, Derby B, Richardson SM, Hoyland JA (2014) Arthritis Res Ther 16:R67
Chan SC, Gantenbein-Ritter B (2012) J Vis Exp 60(60):e3490

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Mu50 > Forschungsgruppe Pneumologie (Erwachsene)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Pneumology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]
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) > Unit Childrens Hospital > Forschungsgruppe Pneumologie (Pädiatrie)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

May, Rahel Deborah, Frauchiger, Daniela Angelika, Gazdhar, Amiq, Geiser, Thomas (A), Benneker, Lorin Michael, Gantenbein, Benjamin


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




Rahel Deborah May

Date Deposited:

10 May 2016 17:50

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:34

Additional Information:

oral presentation


Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback