Comparison of growth factor and cytokine expression in patients with degenerated disc disease and herniated nucleus pulposus

Seungcheol Lee, Chan Sam Moon, Dong Geun Sul, Jiyoung Lee, Minyoung Bae, Youngki Hong, Min Lee, Seonyoung Choi, Richard Derby, Byung Jo Kim, Juhan Kim, Joon Shik Yoon, Lee Wolfer, Jaemin Kim, Joonho Wang, Sun Wook Hwang, Sang Heon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study was conducted to investigate the expression of cytokines and growth factors in disc specimens obtained from patients with herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) and degenerated disc disease (DDD). Design and methods: MRI and Western blot analyses were performed to evaluate the levels of disc degeneration and the expression levels of cytokines and growth factors. Results: The levels of TNF-α and IL-8 were significantly greater in the DDD group than in the HNP group, but no statistical differences were observed in the expression of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-12 between the HNP and DDD groups. In addition, the expression of TGF β, VEGF and NGF was significantly higher in the DDD group than in the HNP group. Conclusion: The greater levels of cytokine and growth factor expression in the DDD group than in the HNP explain why discogenic patients usually have more severe back pain than patients with herniated discs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1504-1511
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Biochemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct 1



  • Cytokines
  • Degenerated disc disease (DDD)
  • Disc degeneration
  • Growth factors
  • Herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP)
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry

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