Lower back pain is a leading cause of disability and is one of the reasons for the substantial socioeconomic burden. The etiology of intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is complicated, and its mechanism is still not completely understood. Factors such as aging, systemic inflammation, biochemical mediators, toxic environmental factors, physical injuries, and genetic factors are involved in the progression of its pathophysiology. Currently, no therapy for restoring degenerated IVD is available except pain management, reduced physical activities, and surgical intervention. Therefore, it is imperative to establish regenerative medicine-based approaches to heal and repair the injured disc, repopulate the cell types to retain water content, synthesize extracellular matrix, and strengthen the disc to restore normal spine flexion. Cellular therapy has gained attention for IVD management as an alternative therapeutic option. In this review, we present an overview of the anatomical and molecular structure and the surrounding pathophysiology of the IVD. Modern therapeutic approaches, including proteins and growth factors, cellular and gene therapy, and cell fate regulators are reviewed. Similarly, small molecules that modulate the fate of stem cells for their differentiation into chondrocytes and notochordal cell types are highlighted.
Core Tip: In this review, we presented a precise overview of the anatomical and molecular structure and surrounding pathophysiology of the intervertebral disc (IVD). Modern therapeutic approaches including proteins and growth factors, cellular and gene therapy, and cell fate regulators are highlighted. In addition, different types of stem cells used for the implantation in IVD are reviewed. Furthermore, small molecules that modulate the fate of stem cells for their differentiation into chondrocytes and notochordal cell types are presented. In conclusion, this review highlights regenerative medicine-based approaches for the regeneration of intervertebral disc degeneration.
- Citation: Ekram S, Khalid S, Salim A, Khan I. Regulating the fate of stem cells for regenerating the intervertebral disc degeneration. World J Stem Cells 2021; 13(12): 1881-1904
- URL: https://www.wjgnet.com/1948-0210/full/v13/i12/1881.htm
- DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.4252/wjsc.v13.i12.1881