The effects of epidural application of allografted nucleus pulposus in rats on cytokine expression, limb withdrawal and nerve root discharge

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Issue Date
2005-12-14
Embargo End Date
Authors
Kallakuri, Srinivasu
Takebayashi, Tsuneo
Ozaktay, A. Cuneyt
Chen, Chaoyang
Yang, Shang-You
Wooley, Paul H.
Cavanaugh, John M.
Advisor
Citation

Srinivasu Kallakuri, Tsuneo Takebayashi, A. Cuneyt Ozaktay, Chaoyang Chen, Shangyou Yang, Paul H. Wooley, John M. Cavanaugh; The effects of epidural application of allografted nucleus pulposus in rats on cytokine expression, limb withdrawal and nerve root discharge; European Spine Journal December 2005, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp 956-964

Abstract

This study investigated cytokine expression, behavioral and neurophysiologic changes in Lewis rats whose lumbar nerve roots were exposed to nucleus pulposus (NP). Allografted NP or fat was implanted over the left L5 nerve root. Sham rats had no NP or fat implantation. Control rats had no surgery. Rats were allowed to survive for 7 days and were tested daily for hind-paw mechanical and thermal withdrawal response (TWR). Granulation tissue was processed by immunohistochemistry for cytokines--interleukin 1 beta (IL-1beta), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Neurophysiological response from the L5 nerve roots was also characterized after 7 days. Significant staining density for IL-1beta, IL-6 and TNF was observed in NP granulation tissue compared with fat and sham (p<0.05). However, there were no significant thermal and mechanical behavioral changes. TWR data computed as percentage-difference scores indicated no significant changes in withdrawal response between the four groups, although NP-treated group showed a trend of decreasing withdrawal latency. Comparison of combined percentage-difference scores revealed increased sensitivity in the NP group on days 4, 5 and 6, 7 when compared with control rats only, with no significant changes in the percentage-difference scores of fat and sham rats when compared to control. Neurophysiologically, the percentage increase in discharge rate in NP-treated rats was higher than control (p<0.05) but not higher than fat and sham rats. These results support the inflammatory nature of NP but offer limited support to NP-mediated thermal behavioral changes.

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