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Comparison of cellular response in bovine intervertebral disc cells and articular chondrocytes: effects .of lipopolysaccharide on proteoglycan metabolism


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces matrix degradation and markedly stimulates the production of several cytokines, i.e., interleukin-1β, −6, and −10, by disc cells and chondrocytes. We performed a series of experiments to compare cellular responses of cells from the bovine intervertebral disc (nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus) and from bovine articular cartilage to LPS. Alginate beads containing cells isolated from bovine intervertebral discs and articular cartilage were cultured with or without LPS in the presence of 10% fetal bovine serum. The DNA content and the rate of proteoglycan synthesis and degradation were determined. In articular chondrocytes, LPS strongly suppressed cell proliferation and proteoglycan synthesis in a dose-dependent manner and stimulated proteoglycan degradation. Compared with articular chondrocytes, nucleus pulposus cells responded in a similar, although less pronounced manner. However, treatment of annulus fibrosus cells with LPS showed no significant effects on proteoglycan synthesis or degradation. A slight, but statistically significant, inhibition of cell proliferation was observed at high concentrations of LPS in annulus fibrosus cells. Thus, LPS suppressed proteoglycan synthesis and stimulated proteoglycan degradation by articular chondrocytes and nucleus pulposus cells. The effects of LPS on annulus fibrosus cells were minor compared with those on the other two cell types. The dissimilar effects of LPS on the various cell types suggest metabolic differences between these cells and may further indicate a divergence in pathways of LPS signaling and a differential sensitivity to exogenous stimuli such as LPS.

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The authors thank Ms. Mary Ellen Lenz for her assistance in the preparation of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Koichi Masuda.

Additional information

This work was supported in part by NIH grants 2-P50-AR39239 and 1-P01-AR48152.

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Aota, Y., An, H.S., Imai, Y. et al. Comparison of cellular response in bovine intervertebral disc cells and articular chondrocytes: effects .of lipopolysaccharide on proteoglycan metabolism. Cell Tissue Res 326, 787–793 (2006).

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  • Intervertebral disc
  • Nucleus pulposus
  • Annulus fibrosus
  • Chondrocyte
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Proteoglycan
  • Alginate bead
  • Bovine