[Characterization of intervertebral disc--disc cells and pericellular microenvironment]

Clin Calcium. 2004 Jul;14(7):64-9.
[Article in Japanese]


The intervertebral disc is classified as fibrocartilage, and has distinct functional and mechanical properties. The disc, composed of the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus, varies in density, anatomic features, and in the morphology of their constituent cells. This heterogeneity has hampered detailed investigations of disc cellular metabolism. Focusing on the heterogeneity, we cultured disc cells under various conditions to examine the cellular metabolism, specifically glycosaminoglycan accumulation and pericellular microenvironment, and succeeded in mechanically isolating disc chondrons from annulus fibrosus. We believe that disc chondron also plays an important role in maintaining cartilageous phenotype in terms of cell-matrix interaction of the intervertebral disc.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Division
  • Chondrocytes / cytology*
  • Chondrocytes / metabolism
  • Chondrocytes / physiology
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Glycosaminoglycans / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / cytology*
  • Intervertebral Disc / physiology
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism


  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Proteoglycans
  • Collagen