Application of Cytokines of the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) Family in Spinal Fusion - Effects on the Bone, Intervertebral Disc and Mesenchymal Stromal Cells

Author(s): Rahel Deborah May, Daniela Angelika Frauchiger, Christoph Emmanuel Albers, Adel Tekari, Lorin Michael Benneker, Frank Michael Klenke, Willy Hofstetter, Benjamin Gantenbein*

Journal Name: Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy

Volume 14 , Issue 8 , 2019

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Low back pain is a prevalent socio-economic burden and is often associated with damaged or degenerated intervertebral discs (IVDs). When conservative therapy fails, removal of the IVD (discectomy), followed by intersomatic spinal fusion, is currently the standard practice in clinics. The remaining space is filled with an intersomatic device (cage) and with bone substitutes to achieve disc height compensation and bone fusion. As a complication, in up to 30% of cases, spinal non-fusions result in a painful pseudoarthrosis. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have been clinically applied with varied outcomes. Several members of the BMP family, such as BMP2, BMP4, BMP6, BMP7, and BMP9, are known to induce osteogenesis. Questions remain on why hyper-physiological doses of BMPs do not show beneficial effects in certain patients. In this respect, BMP antagonists secreted by mesenchymal cells, which might interfere with or block the action of BMPs, have drawn research attention as possible targets for the enhancement of spinal fusion or the prevention of non-unions. Examples of these antagonists are noggin, gremlin1 and 2, chordin, follistatin, BMP3, and twisted gastrulation. In this review, we discuss current evidence of the osteogenic effects of several members of the BMP family on osteoblasts, IVD cells, and mesenchymal stromal cells. We consider in vitro and in vivo studies performed in human, mouse, rat, and rabbit related to BMP and BMP antagonists in the last two decades. We give insights into the effects that BMP have on the ossification of the spine. Furthermore, the benefits, pitfalls, and possible safety concerns using these cytokines for the improvement of spinal fusion are discussed.

Keywords: Spinal fusion, intervertebral discs, mesenchymal stromal cells, osteogenesis, bone morphogenetic proteins, antagonists of bone morphogenetic proteins.

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Article Details

Year: 2019
Published on: 27 November, 2019
Page: [618 - 643]
Pages: 26
DOI: 10.2174/1574888X14666190628103528

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