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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Mar 2024 - 15 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 02



Analysis of Infiltrating Immune Cells Following Intervertebral Disc Injury Reveals Recruitment of Gamma-Delta (γδ) T cells in Female Mice.


Clayton SW, Walk RE, Mpofu L, Easson GWD, Tang SY


Inadequate repair of injured intervertebral discs (IVD) leads to degeneration and contributes to low back pain. Infiltrating immune cells into damaged musculoskeletal tissues are critical mediators of repair, yet little is known about their identities, roles, and temporal regulation following IVD injury. By analyzing longitudinal changes in gene expression, tissue morphology, and the dynamics of infiltrating immune cells following injury, we characterize sex-specific differences in immune cell populations and identify the involvement of previously unreported immune cell types, γδ and NKT cells. Cd3+Cd4-Cd8-T cells are the largest infiltrating lymphocyte population with injury, and we identified the presence of γδ T cells in this population in female mice specifically, and NKT cells in males. Injury-mediated IVD degeneration was prevalent in both sexes, but more severe in males. Sex-specific degeneration may be associated with the differential immune response since γδ T cells have potent anti-inflammatory roles and may mediate IVD repair.