Introduction: It is well known that cytokines are involved in the induction of intervertebral disc and articular cartilage destruction. Therapeutic proteins are of great potential as locally produced drugs after transfer of their cognate genes to the sites of interest. Methods: Chondrocytic cells from bovine os coccygis and discal chondrocytes from 6 wistar rats were isolated and cultured in vitro. The bacterial β- galactosidase (LacZ) gene and the cDNA of the human interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) were introduced into the cells by retrovirus mediated gene transfer. LacZ activity was determined by Xgal staining, IL-1ra protein was determined by ELISA. Results: Our study confirms that isolation and cultivation of bovine chondrocytic end plate cells and of rat discal cells is possible. Transfer of both LacZ and of the IL-1ra cDNA to cultured cells was successful. Discussion: The introduction of exogenous therapeutical genes into cells from the intervertebral disc and the end plate opens the possibility for a local gene therapy of IVD degeneration. This therapy has the potential to be specific, effective and appropriate to the chronicity of the disease.
- Intervertebral disc
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine