Mechanical loading affects the energy metabolism of intervertebral disc cells

Hanan N. Fernando, Jessica Czamanski, Tai Yi Yuan, Weiyong Gu, Abdi Salahadin, Chun Yuh Charles Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Research has shown that mechanical loading affects matrix biosynthesis of intervertebral disc (IVD) cells; however, the pathway(s) to this effect is currently unknown. Cellular matrix biosynthesis is an energy demanding process. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of static and dynamic compressive loading on energy metabolism of IVD cells. Porcine annulus fibrosus (AF) and nucleus pulposus (NP) cells seeded in 2% agarose were used in this experiment. Experimental groups included 15% static compression and 0.1 and 1 Hz dynamic compression at 15% strain magnitude for 4 h. ATP, lactate, glucose, and nitric oxide (NO) contents in culture media, and ATP content in cell-agarose construct were measured using biochemical assays. While the total ATP content of AF cells was promoted by static and dynamic loading, only 1 Hz dynamic loading increased total ATP content of NP cells. Increases in lactate production and glucose consumption of AF cells suggest that ATP production via glycolysis is promoted by dynamic compression. ATP release and NO production of AF and NP cells were significantly increased by dynamic loading. Thus, this study clearly illustrates that static and dynamic compressive loading affect IVD cell energy production while cellular responses to mechanical loading were both cell type and compression type dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1634-1641
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • ATP
  • energy production
  • intervertebral disc
  • mechanical loading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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