chapter  6
28 Pages

Cell Recruitment for Intervertebral Disc

WithCatarina Leite Pereira, Sibylle Grad, Mário Adolfo Barbosa, Raquel M. Gonçalves

This chapter reviews some of the concepts behind cell migration and recruitment, the molecules involved, as well as strategies to improve this natural mechanism, and finally, what’s known within the intervertebral disc (IVD) research field context. The treatment and regeneration of degenerated IVD still represent a significant challenge in medical science, due to its nature and all the biomechanics involved in its functions. The IVD is a critical organ in the spine, providing the flexibility and the capacity to absorb biomechanical forces. The IVD structure corresponds to one-third of the total human spine length. Cell recruitment is triggered by specific molecules, such as chemokines, cytokines, and growth factors, present in a chemotactic gradient. The process of IVD degeneration is characterized by the release of several inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors. Stem cell recruitment for IVD degeneration is a very field of research, and therefore, there are still several questions that remain to be explored.