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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Oct 2022 - 21 Oct 2022


Int J Med Sci



Insights into Exosome in the Intervertebral Disc: Emerging Role for Disc Homeostasis and Normal Function.


Zhao X, Xu B, Duan W, Chang L, Tan R, Sun Z, Ye Z
Int J Med Sci. 2022; 19(11):1695-1705.
PMID: 36237988.


Low back pain (LBP) is a chronic condition that causes great individual suffering and economic burden. The major contributor of LBP is intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD), which is caused by a spectrum of homeostasis alteration, including the apoptosis of nucleus pulposus (NP) and annulus fibrosus (AF) cells, degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM), calcification of cartilaginous endplates (CEP) and so on. Currently, the therapeutic strategy for IDD includes conservative and surgery treatment. Nevertheless, none of them could reverse the progressive destruction of the intervertebral disc. Hence, it is pivotal to pursue a new therapeutic approach. Exosomes, nano-sized substances with diameters of 30-150 nm, can be synthesized and secreted by various types of cells. They play an important role in intercellular communication. Increasing evidence implicates that exosomes could impact the intracellular transcription activities, thereby inhibiting or accelerating the proliferation and apoptosis of cells. Thus, it is a new therapeutic source for IDD. This review chiefly focuses on generalizing and clarifying the roles of exosomes in the onset and deterioration of IDD, and their therapeutic potential.