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Open Badges Letter

Nucleus pulposus cells as competent phagocytes to clear apoptotic cells: mission applicable or impossible? Authors' response

Philip Jones12, Lucy Gardner12, Janis Menage1, Gwyn T Williams2 and Sally Roberts12*

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Spinal Studies, Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic & District Hospital NHS Trust, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 7AG, UK

2 Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:406  doi:10.1186/ar2672

See related research article by Jones et al.,, and related letter by Wang and Luo,

Published: 6 May 2009

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

We thank Dr Wang and Dr Luo for their interest in our paper demonstrating the ability of intervertebral disc cells to undergo phagocytosis [1], and we can certainly concur with some of the points they raise [2]. In fact, we addressed the first point in the last paragraph of the Discussion, stating that 'Although disc cells usually occur in isolation ...', disc cells do occur adjacent to each other in clusters of cells that are common in degenerate discs [1]. It is in this situation that we suggest our findings could have relevance in vivo in humans.