Chemerin aggravates the progression of IVDD in rat’s annulus needle puncture model partly through its receptor CMKLR1. (A–D) RT-PCR results showed that lentivirus-mediated target genes change in NPCs, and AF tissue were successful at 10 days after the lenti-virus injection. (E) X-ray of a rat tail with a needle-punctured disc at 8 weeks post-surgery. (F) The disc height index (DHI) was determined in four groups at 8 weeks. (G) The histopathological scores were evaluated at 4- and 8-weeks post-surgery in four groups. (H) Representative SO staining of punctured disc in different group (original magnification ×40, scale bar: 100 μm). Three sections were randomly selected for quantification, with a representative example shown. (I) Representative HE staining of punctured disc in different group (original magnification ×40, scale bar: 100 μm). Data are represented as mean ± SEM. Significant differences between groups are indicated as **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05.