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Region and strain-dependent diffusivities of glucose and lactate in healthy human cartilage endplate.

Title: Region and strain-dependent diffusivities of glucose and lactate in healthy human cartilage endplate.
Name(s): Wu, Yongren, author
Cisewski, Sarah E, author
Wegner, Nicholas, author
Zhao, Shichang, author
Pellegrini, Vincent D, author
Slate, Elizabeth H, author
Yao, Hai, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2016-09-06
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The cartilage endplate (CEP) is implicated as the main pathway of nutrient supply to the healthy human intervertebral disc (IVD). In this study, the diffusivities of nutrient/metabolite solutes in healthy CEP were assessed, and further correlated with tissue biochemical composition and structure. The CEPs from non-degenerated human IVD were divided into four regions: central, lateral, anterior, and posterior. The diffusivities of glucose and lactate were measured with a custom diffusion cell apparatus under 0%, 10%, and 20% compressive strains. Biochemical assays were conducted to quantify the water and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) contents. The Safranin-O and Ehrlich׳s hematoxylin and eosin staining and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were performed to reveal the tissue structure of the CEP. Average diffusivities of glucose and lactate in healthy CEP were 2.68±0.93×10cm/s and 4.52±1.47×10cm/s, respectively. Solute diffusivities were region-dependent (p<0.0001) with the highest values in the central region, and mechanical strains impeded solute diffusion in the CEP (p<0.0001). The solute diffusivities were significantly correlated with the tissue porosities (glucose: p<0.0001, r=0.581; lactate: p<0.0001, r=0.534). Histological and SEM studies further revealed that the collagen fibers in healthy CEP are more compacted than those in the nucleus pulposus (NP) and annulus fibrosus (AF) and show no clear orientation. Compared to human AF and NP, much smaller solute diffusivities in human CEP suggested that it acts as a gateway for solute diffusion through the disc, maintaining the balance of nutritional environment in healthy human disc under mechanical loading and preventing the progression of disc degeneration.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_27338525 (IID), 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.06.008 (DOI), PMC5056135 (PMCID), 27338525 (RID), 27338525 (EID), S0021-9290(16)30664-9 (PII)
Keywords: Cartilage endplate, Intervertebral disc, Mechanical strain, Nutrient transport, Solute diffusivity
Grant Number: R01 DE021134, R03 AR055775, R03 DE018741, T32 DE017551
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Cartilage/metabolism
Intervertebral Disc/metabolism
Intervertebral Disc/physiology
Intervertebral Disc Degeneration/metabolism
Lactic Acid/metabolism
Middle Aged
Stress, Mechanical
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Journal of biomechanics.
Issue: iss. 13, vol. 49

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Wu, Y., Cisewski, S. E., Wegner, N., Zhao, S., Pellegrini, V. D., Slate, E. H., & Yao, H. (2016). Region and strain-dependent diffusivities of glucose and lactate in healthy human cartilage endplate. Journal Of Biomechanics. Retrieved from