I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Jun 2024 - 5 Jul 2024

2024 Jun 20



TNFR1-mediated senescence and lack of TNFR2-signaling limit human intervertebral disc cell repair in back pain conditions.


Gansau J, Grossi E, Rodriguez L, Wang M, Laudier DM, Chaudhary S, Hecht AC, Fu W, Sebra R, Liu C, Iatridis JC


Poor intervertebral disc (IVD) healing causes IVD degeneration (IVDD) and progression to herniation and back pain. This study identified distinct roles of TNFα-receptors (TNFRs) in contributing to poor healing in painful IVDD. We first isolated IVDD tissue of back pain subjects and determined the complex pro-inflammatory mixture contained many chemokines for recruiting inflammatory cells. Single-cell RNA-sequencing of human IVDD tissues revealed these pro- inflammatory cytokines were dominantly expressed by a small macrophage-population. Human annulus fibrosus (hAF) cells treated with IVDD-conditioned media (CM) underwent senescence with greatly reduced metabolic rates and limited inflammatory responses. TNFR1 inhibition partially restored hAF cell metabolism sufficiently to enable a robust chemokine and cytokine response to CM. We showed that the pro-reparative TNFR2 was very limited on hIVD cell membranes so that TNFR2 inhibition with blocking antibodies or activation using Atsttrin had no effect on hAF cells with CM challenge. However, TNFR2 was expressed in high levels on macrophages identified in scRNA-seq analyses, suggesting their role in repair responses. Results therefore point to therapeutic strategies for painful IVDD involving immunomodulation of TNFR1 signaling in IVD cells to enhance metabolism and enable a more robust inflammatory response including recruitment or delivery of TNFR2 expressing immune cells to enhance IVD repair.