[Expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha and matrix metalloproteinase-2 in degenerative lumbar intervertebral disc]

Wei-ping Wu, Jian-ming Jiang, Dong-bin Qu, Qing-zhu Wei, Hui Jiang
Nan Fang Yi Ke da Xue Xue Bao, Journal of Southern Medical University 2010, 30 (5): 1152-5

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha) and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) in degenerative human intervertebral disc.

METHODS: Specimens of the nucleus pulposus of the degenerative discs were obtained from patients with lumbar disc herniation (experimental group), and those from young patients suffering thoracolumbal vertebral bursting fracture served as the control. The experimental group was divided into three subgroups according to the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results. The tissue specimens from all the groups were examined for HIF-1alpha and MMP-2 expressions using immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: The tissues in the experimental group showed significantly higher expressions of HIF-1alpha and MMP-2 than those in the control group (P<0.05), and the expressions increased significantly with the severity of the degenerative changes of the intervertebral discs (P<0.05). A positive correlation was found between the expressions of the HIF-1alpha and MMP-2 in degenerative intervertebral discs.

CONCLUSION: HIF-1alpha and MMP-2 may participate in the degeneration of human intervertebral discs, in which process their expressions show a common pattern of enhancement with the progression of the condition.

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