Effect of vertebroplasty filler materials on viability and gene expression of human nucleus pulposus cells

Áron Lazáry, Gábor Speer, Péter Pál Varga, Bernadett Balla, Krisztián Bácsi, János P. Kósa, Zsolt Nagy, István Takács, Péter Lakatos

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Consequences of intradiscal cement leakage - often occurring after vertebral cement augmentation for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures-are still unknown. In this study, we have investigated the influences of vertebroplasty filler materials (polymethylmethacry- late-, calcium phosphate- and calcium sulfate-based bone cement) on isolated nucleus pulposus cells. Cell viability of cultured human nucleus pulposus cells were measured after treatment with vertebroplasty filler materials. Gene expression profile of selected genes was determined with quantitative real-time PCR. The widely used polymethylmethacrylate and calcium phosphate cement significantly decreased cell number in a dose- and time-dependent manner while calcium sulfate cement affected cell viability less. Expression of genes involved in matrix metabolism of nucleus pulposus-aggrecan, collagens, small proteoglycans-as well as important transcription factors have also significantly changed due to treatment (e.g., 2.5-fold decrease in aggrecan expression was determined in cultures due to polymethylmethacrylate treatment). Our results suggest that vertebroplasty filler materials-depending on the type of applied material-can accelerate the degeneration of nucleus pulposus cells resulting in a less flexible disc in case of intradiscal cement leakage. This process may increase the risk of a subsequent new vertebral fracture, the main complication of vertebral augmentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-607
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2008


  • Bone cement
  • Intervertebral disc
  • Subsequent fracture
  • Vertebroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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