Advertisement

An immunohistochemical study of mechanoreceptors in lumbar spine intervertebral discs

      Abstract

      There are limited data concerning mechanoreceptors in normal human lumbar intervertebral discs. The aim of our study was to determine the types of mechanoreceptors in the two lower intervertebral discs in normal adult cadaveric donors and to review the literature. Twenty-five lumbar (L4–5 and L5–S1) intervertebral discs were retrieved from 15 fresh cadavers. We utilized immunoreactivity against the S-100 protein to localize specialized nerve endings. Immunoreactivity showed receptors in 92% of discs. The most frequent type had morphology resembling the Ruffini type receptor (88%), followed by the Golgi type. Free nerve fibers were frequently present. All neural structures were found in the superficial layers of the annulus fibrosus, in longitudinal ligaments, or between these two. The anterior part of the L5–S1 disc had a greater frequency of encapsulated receptors than the other parts (p = 0.022), which may be correlated with the high shear forces to which the lumbosacral junction is subjected.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of Clinical Neuroscience
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Jung A.
        • Brunschwig A.
        Recherches histologiques sur l’innervation des articulations des corps vertebraux [Histological study of the innervation of vertebral body joints].
        Presse Med. 1932; 40: 316-317
        • Freeman M.
        • Wyke B.
        The innervation of the knee joint. An anatomical and histological study in the cat.
        J Anat. 1967; 101: 505-532
        • Jackson H.C.
        • Winkelmann R.K.
        • Bickel W.H.
        Nerve endings in lumbar spinal column.
        J Bone Joint Surg (Am). 1966; 48: 1272-1281
        • Malinsky J.
        The ontogenetic development of nerve terminations in the intervertebral disc of man.
        Acta Anat. 1959; 38: 96-113
        • Palmgren T.
        • Gronblad M.
        • Virri J.
        • et al.
        An immunohistochemical study of nerve structures in the annulus fibrosus of human normal intervertebral discs.
        Spine. 1999; 20: 2075-2079
        • Roberts S.
        • Eisenstein S.M.
        • Menage J.
        • et al.
        Mechanoreceptors in intervertebral discs. Morphology, distribution and neuropeptides.
        Spine. 1995; 20: 2645-2651
        • Yoshizawa H.
        • O’Brien J.
        • Smith W.T.
        • et al.
        The neuropathology of intervertebral discs removed for low back pain.
        J Pathol. 1980; 132: 95-104
        • Kallakuri S.
        • Cavanaugh J.M.
        • Blagoev D.C.
        An immunohistochemical study of innervation of lumbar spinal dura and longitudinal ligaments.
        Spine. 1998; 23: 403-411
        • McCarthy P.W.
        • Carruthers B.
        • Martin D.
        • et al.
        Immunohistochemical demonstration of sensory nerve fibers and endings in lumbar intervertebral discs of the rat.
        Spine. 1991; 16: 653-655
        • Rhalmi S.
        • Yahia L.
        • Newman N.
        • et al.
        Immunohistochemical study of nerves in lumbar spine ligaments.
        Spine. 1993; 18: 264-267
        • Isobe T.
        • Ishioka N.
        • Kocha T.
        • et al.
        Chemical structure and molecular evolution of S-100 proteins.
        Prot Biol Fluids. 1983; 30: 21-24
        • Pionchon H.
        • Tommasi M.
        • Pialat J.
        • et al.
        Study of innervation of the spinal ligaments at the lumbar level.
        Bull Assoc Anat (Nancy). 1986; 70: 63-67
        • Yahia L.
        • Rhalmi S.
        • Newman N.
        • et al.
        Sensory innervation of human thoracolumbar fascia. An immunohistochemical study.
        Acta Orthop Scand. 1992; 63: 195-197
        • Weidner N.
        • Rice D.
        Intervertebral disc material: criteria for determining probable prolapse.
        Hum Pathol. 1988; 19: 406-410
        • Yasuma T.
        • Koh S.
        • Okamura T.
        • et al.
        Histological changes in aging lumbar intervertebral discs.
        J. Bone Joint Surg. 1990; 72-A: 220-229
        • McLain R.F.
        • Pickar J.G.
        Mechanoreceptor endings in human thoracic and lumbar facet joints.
        Spine. 1998; 23: 168-173
        • Williams P.L.
        • Warwick R.
        • Dyson M.
        • et al.
        Gray’s anatomy.
        37th ed. Churchill Livingstone, New York1989 (p. 906)
        • Barr M.L.
        • Kiernan J.A.
        The human nervous system.
        5th ed. Lippincott, Philadelphia1988 (p. 33)
        • Zimny M.L.
        Mechanoreceptors in articular tissues.
        Am J Anat. 1988; 182: 16-32
        • Bogduk N.
        • Tynan W.
        • Wilson A.S.
        The nerve supply of the human lumbar intervertebral discs.
        J Anat. 1981; 132: 39-56
        • Skaggs D.L.
        • Weidenbaum M.
        • Iatridis J.C.
        • et al.
        Regional variation in tensile properties and biochemical composition of the human lumbar anulus fibrosus.
        Spine. 1994; 19: 1310-1319
        • Buckwalter J.A.
        • Mow V.C.
        • Boden S.D.
        • et al.
        Intervertebral disk structure, composition and mechanical function.
        in: Buckwalter J.A. Einhorn T.A. Simon S.R. Orthopaedic basic science: biology and biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system. 2nd ed. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont, Illinois, USA2000: 548-556