J. Tolonen, M. Grönblad, J. Virri, S. Seitsalo, T. Rytömaa, E. O. Karaharju

March 2005, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 63 - 69 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/BF01676576

First Online: 09 March 2005

Angiogenesis is essential in tissue growth and regeneration. There are several factors that are able to stimulate vascular endothelial cell growth, including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Disc herniation tissue (DHT) contains vascular ingrowth, which promotes granulation tissue formation. In this study we observed 50 disc herniations for PDGF and VEGF immunoreactivity. PDGF immunopositivity was detected in 38 samples (78%). In 28 samples (56%) there were PDGF immunopositive capillaries, PDGF immunopositive disc cells were detected in 19 samples (38%) and PDGF immunopositive fibroblasts in 6 DHT samples (12%). VEGF immunopositive capillaries were identified in 44 DHT samples (88%). For neither growth factor was immunopositivity dependent on preoperative radicular pain duration. In extrusions (n = 25) VEGF immunopositive capillaries were detected in 23 samples (92%) and PDGF immunopositivity in 21 samples (84%). PDGF immunopositivity was more commonly associated with capillaries than with nuclei of disc cells. In sequesters (n = 20) VEGF immunopositive capillaries were identified in all samples and PDGF immunopositivity in 16 (80%). As in extrusions, PDGF immunoreaction was more prevalent in capillaries than in disc cells. Patient age did not relate to VEGF expression. In all age groups it was higher than 80%. Thus capillaries in disc herniation tissue are evidently newly formed and our results demonstrate that PDGF and VEGF participate in the neovascularization process. The presence of PDGF in fibroblasts and in disc cells suggests that this growth factor regulates the function of these cells, possibly the proliferation of the cells and the production of extracellular matrix components.

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