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      Mechanisms and Origins of Spinal Pain: from Molecules to Anatomy, with Diagnostic Clues and Imaging Findings

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          Osteomyelitis.

          Bone and joint infections are painful for patients and frustrating for both them and their doctors. The high success rates of antimicrobial therapy in most infectious diseases have not yet been achieved in bone and joint infections owing to the physiological and anatomical characteristics of bone. The key to successful management is early diagnosis, including bone sampling for microbiological and pathological examination to allow targeted and long-lasting antimicrobial therapy. The various types of osteomyelitis require differing medical and surgical therapeutic strategies. These types include, in order of decreasing frequency: osteomyelitis secondary to a contiguous focus of infection (after trauma, surgery, or insertion of a joint prosthesis); that secondary to vascular insufficiency (in diabetic foot infections); or that of haematogenous origin. Chronic osteomyelitis is associated with avascular necrosis of bone and formation of sequestrum (dead bone), and surgical debridement is necessary for cure in addition to antibiotic therapy. By contrast, acute osteomyelitis can respond to antibiotics alone. Generally, a multidisciplinary approach is required for success, involving expertise in orthopaedic surgery, infectious diseases, and plastic surgery, as well as vascular surgery, particularly for complex cases with soft-tissue loss.
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            Catabolic cytokine expression in degenerate and herniated human intervertebral discs: IL-1β and TNFα expression profile

            Low back pain is a common and debilitating disorder. Current evidence implicates intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration and herniation as major causes, although the pathogenesis is poorly understood. While several cytokines have been implicated in the process of IVD degeneration and herniation, investigations have predominately focused on Interleukin 1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). However, to date no studies have investigated the expression of these cytokines simultaneously in IVD degeneration or herniation, or determined which may be the predominant cytokine associated with these disease states. Using quantitative real time PCR and immunohistochemistry we investigated gene and protein expression for IL-1β, TNFα and their receptors in non-degenerate, degenerate and herniated human IVDs. IL-1β gene expression was observed in a greater proportion of IVDs than TNFα (79% versus 59%). Degenerate and herniated IVDs displayed higher levels of both cytokines than non-degenerate IVDs, although in degenerate IVDs higher levels of IL-1β gene expression (1,300 copies/100 ng cDNA) were observed compared to those of TNFα (250 copies of TNFα/100 ng cDNA). Degenerate IVDs showed ten-fold higher IL-1 receptor gene expression compared to non-degenerate IVDs. In addition, 80% of degenerate IVD cells displayed IL-1 receptor immunopositivity compared to only 30% of cells in non-degenerate IVDs. However, no increase in TNF receptor I gene or protein expression was observed in degenerate or herniated IVDs compared to non-degenerate IVDs. We have demonstrated that although both cytokines are produced by human IVD cells, IL-1β is expressed at higher levels and in more IVDs, particularly in more degenerate IVDs (grades 4 to 12). Importantly, this study has highlighted an increase in gene and protein production for the IL-1 receptor type I but not the TNF receptor type I in degenerate IVDs. The data thus suggest that although both cytokines may be involved in the pathogenesis of IVD degeneration, IL-1 may have a more significant role than TNFα, and thus may be a better target for therapeutic intervention.
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              The cellular pathobiology of the degenerate intervertebral disc and discogenic back pain.

              In 2007, three times as many peer reviewed publications covering the biology and biotherapeutics of intervertebral disc (IVD) disease appeared in the literature than in 1997. This is testimony to the upsurge in interest in the IVD, mainly driven by the openings that modern molecular pathology has generated to investigate mechanisms of human disease and the potential offered by novel therapeutic technologies to use data coming from these studies to positively influence chronic discogenic back pain and sciatica. Molecular pathology has shown IVD degeneration, a major cause of low back pain, to be a complex, active disorder in which disturbed cytokine biology, cellular dysfunction and altered load responses play key roles. This has translated into a search for target molecules and disease processes that might be the focus of future, evidence-based therapies for back pain. It is not possible to describe the totality of advances that have been made in understanding the biology of the IVD in recent years, but in this review those areas of biology that are currently influencing, or could conceivably soon impinge on, clinical thinking or practice around IVD degeneration and discogenic back pain are described and discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                RadioGraphics
                RadioGraphics
                Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
                0271-5333
                1527-1323
                July 2020
                July 2020
                : 40
                : 4
                : 1163-1181
                Affiliations
                [1 ]From the Division of Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, University of Michigan, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, UH B2, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.
                Article
                10.1148/rg.2020190185
                © 2020
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