ORS Spine Section at Annual Meeting

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ORS Spine Section at Annual Meeting 2017-05-31T20:14:46+00:00

ORS Spine Section 2017 Meeting

Meeting Organizers

Judith Hoyland, PhD, Section Chair Elect
James Iatridis, PhD, Section Chair
Christine Le Maitre, PhD, Section Secretary
Jeff Lotz, PhD, Section Treasurer
Devina Purmessur, PhD, Section Membership Chair
Makarand Risbud, PhD, Section Research Chair
Daisuke Sakai, MD, PhD, Section Membership Chair
Nam Vo, PhD, Section Education Chair

The ORS Spine Section Meeting was held on Sunday, March 19 in San Diego, California featuring symposia on:

IVD Tissue Engineering Objectives and Evaluation

Symposium 1: IVD Tissue Engineering Objectives and Evaluation

Rita Kandel’s “In Vitro Models of Tissue Integration: Towards Engineering a Functional Disc Replacement” opened the symposium and described her team’s efforts towards designing disc/vertebra interfaces and functionally graded tissues for disc tissue engineering.

Rob Mauck’s “Promise, Progress, and Problems in Whole Disc Tissue Engineering” discussed whole disc tissue engineering in small and large animal models, describing many of the hurdles that were overcome in his lab’s efforts in biological total disc replacement.

Conor Buckley’s “Cells and Injectable Biomaterials – Engineering for the Disc Microenvironment” summarized work towards hydrogel microparticle and stem cell therapies for disc regeneration, and spoke of stem cell cryopreservation as well as the nutritional challenges facing tissue engineering approaches to disc regeneration.


  • Conor Buckley, PhD, Trinity College Dublin,
  • Rita Kandel, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Robert Mauck, PhD, University of Pennsylvania


  • Ben Gantenbein, PhD, University of Bern
  • Judith Hoyland, PhD, University of Manchester
  • Grace O’Connell, PhD, University of California, Berkley

Clinical Opportunities for Technological Solutions to Address IVD Degeneration and Spine Pain

Symposium 2: Clinical Opportunities for Technological Solutions to Address IVD Degeneration and Spine Pain

Lara Silverman’s “Translating Cell Therapies for Low Back Pain from Animal to Human Testing; An Industry Perspective“ demonstrated her company’s history bringing a cell therapy for disc degeneration to market, addressing regulatory steps for demonstrating proof of concept, safety, evaluating efficacy in animal models,  control of manufacture and clinical plan.

Dai Sakai’s “Regenerative Medicinal Products for Low Back Pain: Global Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Trials” highlighted market opportunities and status of clinical trials for cell therapies for chronic discogenic pain, and compared regulatory expectations for bringing cell therapy to market between Europe, Asia and USA.

Gwen Sowa’s “Barriers and Opportunities to Translate Biologic Therapies for IDD” discussed her group’s challenges and successes with gene and stem cell therapies for disc regeneration in the rabbit model, as well as the promise of serum biomarkers for back pain patient identification and optimizing of timing of therapy.


  • Dai Sakai, MD, PhD, Tokai University School of Medicine
  • Lara Silverman, PhD, DiscGenics
  • Gwen Sowa, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


  • Nadeen Chahine, PhD , Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
  • James Iatridis, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai
  • Devina Purmessur, PhD, The Ohio State University
Meeting Agenda

ORS Spine Section Social Hour

ORS Spine Section Members and other attendees gathered on the evening of Sunday, March 19 for a networking reception.

Be on the lookout for more information about the 2018 Section Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

ORS Spine Section Year in Review 2016-2017

Presented by Mak Risbud, PhD, during the 2016 Research Highlights Session at the ORS 2017 Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.
2016 to early 2017 have been productive years for spine research!

Here are a few highlights from the literature.

  1. Endplate Pathobiology – Emerging Theme
    Matrix stiffness promotes cartilage endplate chondrocyte calcification in disc degeneration via miR-20a targeting ANKH expression.
    Liu MH, Sun C, Yao Y, Fan X, Liu H, Cui YH, Bian XW, Huang B, Zhou Y.
    Sci Rep. 2016 May 4;6:25401. doi: 10.1038/srep25401.

Human cartilaginous endplate degeneration is induced by calcium and the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor in the intervertebral disc.
Grant MP, Epure LM, Bokhari R, Roughley P, Antoniou J, Mwale F.
Eur Cell Mater. 2016 Jul 25;32:137-51.

  1. Circadian Rhythym – New Aspects of NP Biology
    Circadian factors BMAL1 and RORα control HIF-1α transcriptional activity in nucleus pulposus cells: implications in maintenance of intervertebral disc health.
    Suyama K, Silagi ES, Choi H, Sakabe K, Mochida J, Shapiro IM, Risbud MV.
    Oncotarget. 2016 Apr 26;7(17):23056-71. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.8521.

The intervertebral disc contains intrinsic circadian clocks that are regulated by age and cytokines and linked to degeneration.
Dudek M, Yang N, Ruckshanthi JP, Williams J, Borysiewicz E, Wang P, Adamson A, Li J, Bateman JF, White MR, Boot-Handford RP, Hoyland JA, Meng QJ.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Mar;76(3):576-584. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-209428. Epub 2016 Aug 3.

  1. Regulation of NP Niche
    RNA Sequencing Reveals a Role of TonEBP Transcription Factor in Regulation of Pro-inflammatory Genes in Response to Hyperosmolarity in Healthy Nucleus Pulposus Cells: A HOMEOSTATIC RESPONSE?
    Johnson ZI, Shapiro IM, Risbud MV.
    J Biol Chem. 2016 Dec 23;291(52):26686-26697. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M116.757732. Epub 2016 Nov 8.

Reduced tissue osmolarity increases TRPV4 expression and pro-inflammatory cytokines in intervertebral disc cells.
Walter BA, Purmessur D, Moon A, Occhiogrosso J, Laudier DM, Hecht AC, Iatridis JC.
Eur Cell Mater. 2016 Jul 19;32:123-36.

  1. Novel Non-canonical Pathways
    Hypoxia promotes noncanonical autophagy in nucleus pulposus cells independent of MTOR and HIF1A signaling.
    Choi H, Merceron C, Mangiavini L, Seifert EL, Schipani E, Shapiro IM, Risbud MV.
    Autophagy. 2016 Sep;12(9):1631-46. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2016.1192753. Epub 2016 Jun 17.
  1. AF Biology – Similarities with Tendon and Ligament Phenotype
    Mohawk promotes the maintenance and regeneration of the outer annulus fibrosus of intervertebral discs.
    Nakamichi R, Ito Y, Inui M, Onizuka N, Kayama T, Kataoka K, Suzuki H, Mori M, Inagawa M, Ichinose S, Lotz MK, Sakai D, Masuda K, Ozaki T, Asahara H.
    Nat Commun. 2016 Aug 16;7:12503. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12503.
  1. New Genetic Tools
    Targeting the annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disc: Col1a2-Cre(ER)T mice show specific activity of Cre recombinase in the outer annulus fibrosus.
    Bedore J, Quesnel K, Quinonez D, Séguin CA, Leask A.
    J Cell Commun Signal. 2016 Jun;10(2):137-42. doi: 10.1007/s12079-016-0329-7. Epub 2016 May 12.
  1. New Imaging Tools
    Assessing the correlation between the degree of disc degeneration on the Pfirrmann scale and the metabolites identified in HR-MAS NMR spectroscopy.
    Radek M, Pacholczyk-Sienicka B, Jankowski S, Albrecht Ł, Grodzka M, Depta A, Radek A.
    Magn Reson Imaging. 2016 May;34(4):376-80. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2015.12.005. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Quantitative chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI of intervertebral disc in a porcine model.
Zhou Z, Bez M, Tawackoli W, Giaconi J, Sheyn D, de Mel S, Maya MM, Pressman BD, Gazit Z, Pelled G, Gazit D, Li D.
Magn Reson Med. 2016 Dec;76(6):1677-1683. doi: 10.1002/mrm.26457. Epub 2016 Sep 26.

  1. New Omics Studies
    Landscape of RNAs in human lumbar disc degeneration.
    Lan PH, Liu ZH, Pei YJ, Wu ZG, Yu Y, Yang YF, Liu X, Che L, Ma CJ, Xie YK, Hu QJ, Wan ZY, Wang HQ.
    Oncotarget. 2016 Sep 27;7(39):63166-63176. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.11334.

Genome-Wide Identification of Long Noncoding RNAs in Human Intervertebral Disc Degeneration by RNA Sequencing.
Zhao B, Lu M, Wang D, Li H, He X.
Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:3684875. doi: 10.1155/2016/3684875. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

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