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Collagen fibrillogenesis in the development of the annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disc

Hayes, Anthony Joseph, Isaacs, Marc D., Hughes, Clare Elizabeth ORCID:, Caterson, Bruce ORCID: and Ralphs, James Robert ORCID: 2011. Collagen fibrillogenesis in the development of the annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disc. European Cells and Materials 22 , pp. 226-241.

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The annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disc is a complex, radial-ply connective tissue consisting of concentric lamellae of oriented collagen. Whilst much is known of the structure of the mature annulus, less is known of how its complex collagenous architecture becomes established; an understanding of which could inform future repair/regenerative strategies. Here, using a rat disc developmental series, we describe events in the establishment of the collagenous framework of the annulus at light and electron microscopic levels and examine the involvement of class I and II small leucine rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) in the matrix assembly process. We show that a period of sustained, ordered matrix deposition follows the initial cellular differentiation/orientation phase within the foetal disc. Fibrillar matrix is deposited from recesses within the plasma membrane into compartments of interstitial space within the outer annulus – the orientation of the secreted collagen reflecting the initial cellular orientation of the laminae. Medially, we demonstrate the development of a reinforcing ‘cage’ of collagen fibre bundles around the foetal nucleus pulpous. This derives from the fusion of collagen bundles between presumptive end-plate and inner annulus. By birth, the distinct collagenous architectures are established and the disc undergoes considerable enlargement to maturity. We show that fibromodulin plays a prominent role in foetal development of the annulus and its attachment to vertebral bodies. With the exception of keratocan, the other SLRPs appear associated more with cartilage development within the vertebral column, but all become more prominent within the disc during its growth and differentiation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intervertebral Disc – Development, ECM – Collagens, ECM – Proteoglycans, Imaging – EM, Imaging – LM
Publisher: European Cells & Materials Ltd
ISSN: 1473-2262
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:12

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