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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Jan 2024 - 2 Feb 2024

2024 Jan 31

Int Immunopharmacol



Ozone therapy (O-O) alleviates the progression of early intervertebral disc degeneration via the inhibition of oxidative stress and the interception of the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB signaling pathway.


Elmounedi N, Bahloul W, Kharrat A, Horchani M, Ben Jannet H, Racem Guidara A, Keskes H


Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) stands for the most frequent cause of low back pain. Finding a cure for this disease is an important challenge as current conservative treatments and surgical interventions fail to bring a solution to this disease. Ozone therapy (O-O) has yielded outstanding outcomes in intervertebral disc pathology. The ozone’s efficacy in the treatment of IDD remains unconfirmed. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of intradiscal ozone injection on IDD induced in a rat. Effects of ozone therapy on the viability of nucleus pulposus cells were evaluated by CCK-8 assays. Macrophage immunoreactivity was detected by immunohistochemical, the expression of collagen type II was evaluated by western blot, and measurement of oxidative stress parameters was realized. Molecular docking studies were carried out in order to predict the interaction formed between O and the target enzymes, on the one hand, O with PI3K and, on the other hand, O with COX-2. IRM, X-ray, hematoxylin-eosin, and bleu alcian staining were realized to assess the therapeutic impacts of ozone in the puncture-induced rat model of IDD. In vivo, O ameliorated the IDD in the early stage of this disease. It was also displayed in molecular docking that O might bind to PI3K to suppress the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB signaling pathway. This study’s results show that the O should be administered at the low grade of IDD and at an early stage because it cannot restore the advanced inflammatory alteration of the IVD. Our results corroborated also that O inhibits the progression of IDD via the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB signaling pathway, which supports O as an effective therapeutic option for treating IDD.