Nucleus pulposus

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Nucleus pulposus
Cervical vertebra english.png
Cervical vertebra with intervertebral disc. (Nucleus pulposus labeled at center right, and is visible at center in light blue.)
Disc Herniation.JPG
Stages of Spinal Disc Herniation
Latin Nucleus pulposus
Gray's p.82
Precursor notochord
Anatomical terminology

Nucleus pulposus is the gel-like substance in the middle of the spinal disc. It is the remnant of the notochord.[1] It functions to distribute hydraulic pressure in all directions within each disc under compressive loads. The nucleus pulposus consists of large vacuolated notochord cells, small chondrocyte-like cells, collagen fibrils, and proteoglycan aggrecans that aggregate through hyaluronic chains. Attached to each aggrecan molecule are the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains of chondroitin sulfate and keratan sulfate.[2] Aggrecan is negatively charged, allowing the nucleus pulposus to attract water molecules. The amount of water and glycosaminoglycans decreases with age and degeneration.[3]

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  1. ^ McCann, Matthew; Owen J. Tamplin, Janet Rossant and Cheryle A. Séguin (25 October 2011). "Tracing notochord-derived cells using a Noto-cre mouse: implications for intervertebral disc developmen". Disease Models & Mechanisms. doi:10.1242/dmm.008128. 
  2. ^ See Figure 1 in US patent application 2007/0003525.
  3. ^ Antoniou, J.; Steffen, T.; Nelson, F.; Winterbottom, N.; Hollander, A. P.; Poole, R. A.; Aebi, M.; Alini, M. (1996). "The human lumbar intervertebral disc: Evidence for changes in the biosynthesis and denaturation of the extracellular matrix with growth, maturation, ageing, and degeneration". Journal of Clinical Investigation 98 (4): 996–1003. doi:10.1172/JCI118884. PMC 507515. PMID 8770872.  edit
  4. ^ Link to referenced patent application.

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