Gwendolyn A. Sowa

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STUDY DESIGN We demonstrated the differentiation of notochordal cells by direct observation using a live automated cell imaging system. We also hypothesized that notochordal cells have characteristics of chondrocyte-like cells. OBJECTIVE To determine characteristics of notochordal cells by matrix protein expression and their differentiation using a live(More)
Oxidative damage is a well-established driver of aging. Evidence of oxidative stress exists in aged and degenerated discs, but it is unclear how it affects disc metabolism. In this study, we first determined whether oxidative stress negatively impacts disc matrix metabolism using disc organotypic and cell cultures. Mouse disc organotypic culture grown at(More)
BACKGROUND CONTEXT Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is a common cause of back pain. Patients who fail conservative management may face the morbidity of surgery. Alternative treatment modalities could have a significant impact on disease progression and patients' quality of life. PURPOSE To determine if the injection of a virus vector carrying a(More)
BACKGROUND CONTEXT Bupivacaine is a local anesthetic commonly used to relieve or control pain in interventional spine procedures. Bupivacaine has been shown to be toxic to articular cartilage, which has similarities to intervertebral disc (IVD) cartilage, raising concern over a potentially negative effect of bupivacaine on the disc. PURPOSE To determine(More)
STUDY DESIGN A cohort of young, healthy New Zealand White rabbits was followed longitudinally with serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis and terminal analysis of histologic changes and gene expression. OBJECTIVE To examine the changes observed during normal aging in the intervertebral disc. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA Although there is a(More)
BACKGROUND CONTEXT Destruction of extracellular matrix (ECM) leads to intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD), which underlies many spine-related disorders. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and disintegrins and metalloproteinases with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTSs) are believed to be the major proteolytic enzymes responsible for ECM degradation in the(More)
STUDY DESIGN Changes in gene expression profile and cell fusion of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and nucleus pulposus cells (NPC) after coculture were analyzed. OBJECTIVE To investigate the mechanisms of the interaction between NPC and MSC such us differentiation, stimulatory effect, and cell fusion. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA Introduction of exogenous(More)
OBJECTIVES Recent data have suggested that macrophages are involved in the pathogenesis of discogenic back pain and enhance the secretion of inflammatory mediators in co-cultured annulus fibrosus (AF) cells. The purpose of these studies is to determine the role of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) signaling in the interactions between(More)
Analysis of disc gene expression implicated IL-1 in the development of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) in a rabbit stab model. The purpose of these studies is to determine the role of p38 Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (p38 MAPK) signaling in nucleus pulposus cell response to IL-1, and to compare rabbit nucleus pulposus (rNP) cell responses to IL-1(More)
STUDY DESIGN Anulus fibrosus (AF) cells obtained from patients undergoing surgery were cocultured with macrophage-like cells and production of inflammatory mediators was analyzed by quantitative assay. OBJECTIVE To investigate the role of macrophages in AF cell production of inflammatory mediators by cytokines stimulation. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA(More)