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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 May 2024 - 31 May 2024

2024 May 31

J Nanobiotechnology




M1 macrophage-derived exosomes promote intervertebral disc degeneration by enhancing nucleus pulposus cell senescence through LCN2/NF-κB signaling axis.


Fan C, Wang W, Yu Z, Wang J, Xu W, Ji Z, He W, Hua D, Wang W, Yao L, Deng Y, Geng D, Wu X, Mao H


Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) is the primary factor contributing to low back pain (LBP). Unlike elderly patients, many young IVDD patients usually have a history of trauma or long-term abnormal stress, which may lead to local inflammatory reaction causing by immune cells, and ultimately accelerates degeneration. Research has shown the significance of M1-type macrophages in IVDD; nevertheless, the precise mechanism and the route by which it influences the function of nucleus pulposus cell (NPC) remain unknown. Utilizing a rat acupuncture IVDD model and an NPC degeneration model induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), we investigated the function of M1 macrophage-derived exosomes (M1-Exos) in IVDD both in vivo and in vitro in this study. We found that M1-Exos enhanced LPS-induced NPC senescence, increased the number of SA-β-gal-positive cells, blocked the cell cycle, and promoted the activation of P21 and P53. M1-Exos derived from supernatant pretreated with the exosome inhibitor GW4869 reversed this result in vivo and in vitro. RNA-seq showed that Lipocalin2 (LCN2) was enriched in M1-Exos and targeted the NF-κB pathway. The quantity of SA-β-gal-positive cells was significantly reduced with the inhibition of LCN2, and the expression of P21 and P53 in NPCs was decreased. The same results were obtained in the acupuncture-induced IVDD model. In addition, inhibition of LCN2 promotes the expression of type II collagen (Col-2) and inhibits the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP13), thereby restoring the equilibrium of metabolism inside the extracellular matrix (ECM) in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the NF-κB pathway is crucial for regulating M1-Exo-mediated NPC senescence. After the addition of M1-Exos to LPS-treated NPCs, p-p65 activity was significantly activated, while si-LCN2 treatment significantly inhibited p-p65 activity. Therefore, this paper demonstrates that M1 macrophage-derived exosomes have the ability to deliver LCN2, which activates the NF-κB signaling pathway, and exacerbates IVDD by accelerating NPC senescence. This may shed new light on the mechanism of IVDD and bring a fresh approach to IVDD therapy.