The aim of this study was to test a model of the formation of degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs in rabbits, as a possible model of discopathy, and to develop a simple and reproducible protocol. There are many models, ranging from in vitro to in silico, which can be informative for the study of specific components of intervertebral disc degeneration. However, in vivo studies can more accurately reproduce the pathogenesis of the disease. Pathology was simulated by puncturing with a needle with a diameter of 18G (1.27 mm) of the intervertebral disc at the level of the lumbar segment L5/L6. The success of the formation of pathology was evaluated using the subsequent morphometric, x-ray and histological assessment of damage to the intervertebral disc at various time intervals after the induction of pathology. The manifestation of pathological changes in the intervertebral disc was accompanied by the reduction in disk height, which was confirmed by morphometry and x-ray analysis. Histological examination revealed a disruption in the organization of collagen fibers, some of which were torn or defocused, with fibrin being deposited between them. Fibrosis of the gelatinous nucleus was also noted, in some cases its destruction with the formation of fibrous "septa" and compaction of the intercellular matrix. In addition, a concomitant pathology was revealed, which was characterized by hemorrhages both in the surrounding tissues and directly in the disk tissue, as well as the formation of hernias, which were formed both in the lateral or vertical directions. Thus, a protocol for modeling and assessing the severity of the process of degeneration of the intervertebral discs after their puncture with a needle was formed. It was been shown that the onset of degenerative changes was observed already 6 weeks after the induction of pathology, had a maximum development by 8 weeks, and was observed up to 22 weeks. After 14 weeks degenerative changes, the presence of degenerative changes in neighboring intact disks were observed, which indicates the systemic symptoms of the damage.
Kuksgauz I. – participation in experimental work, writing the text, analysis of literature;
Guschin Ya. – pathological examination;
Mazukina E. – participation in experimental work;
Kashkin V. – elaboration of the study idea, analysis of literature, editing of the text, analysis and interpretation of the study results;
Makarov V. – editing of the text, approval of the final version of the paper to be published.
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