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Open Badges Editorial

Transcriptional profiling of the nucleus pulposus: say yes to notochord

Irving M Shapiro and Makarand V Risbud

Author affiliations

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Jefferson Medical College, 1015 Walnut Street, Suite 501, Curtis Building, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2010, 12:117  doi:10.1186/ar3003

See related research by Minogue et al.,

Published: 20 May 2010


This editorial addresses the debate concerning the origin of adult nucleus pulposus cells in the light of profiling studies by Minogue and colleagues. In their report of several marker genes that distinguish nucleus pulposus cells from other related cell types, the authors provide novel insights into the notochordal nature of the former. Together with recently published work, their work lends support to the view that all cells present within the nucleus pulposus are derived from the notochord. Hence, the choice of an animal model for disc research should be based on considerations other than the cell loss and replacement by non-notochordal cells.