Research Paper Volume 10, Issue 1 pp 131—143
Rapamycin prevents the intervertebral disc degeneration via inhibiting differentiation and senescence of annulus fibrosus cells
- 1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Jinan Central Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250013, P. R. China
- 2 Department of Orthopedics, General Hospital of Jinan Military Command, Jinan, Shandong 250013, P. R. China
Received: December 12, 2017 Accepted: January 10, 2017 Published: January 18, 2018https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.101364
How to Cite
Copyright: Gao et al. This is an open‐access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The effects of bleomycin and rapamycin on cellular senescence and differentiation of rabbit annulus fibrosus stem cells (AFSCs) were investigated using a cell culture model. The results showed that bleomycin induced cellular senescence in AFSCs as evidenced by senescence-associated secretory phenotype. The morphology of AFSCs was changed from cobblestone-like cells to pancake-like cells. The senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity, the protein expression of P16 and P21, and inflammatory-related marker gene levels IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α were increased in bleomycin-treated AFSCs in a dose-dependent manner. Rapamycin treatment decreased the gene expression of MMP-3, MMP-13, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and protein levels of P16 and P21 in bleomycin-treated AFSCs. Furthermore, neither bleomycin nor rapamycin changed the ribosomal S6 protein level in AFSCs. However, the phosphorylation of the ribosomal S6 protein was increased in bleomycin-treated AFSCs and decreased in rapamycin-treated AFSCs. AFSCs differentiated into adipocytes, osteocytes, and chondrocytes when they were cultured with respective differentiation media. Rapamycin inhibited multi-differentiation potential of AFSCs in a concentration-dependent manner. Our findings demonstrated that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling affects cellular senescence, catabolic and inflammatory responses, and multi-differentiation potential, suggesting that potential treatment value of rapamycin for disc degenerative diseases, especially lower back pain.