Cartilage of the Intervertebral Disc Eng-Plate, A Histological, Histochemical, Fine Structure Study.
Technical rept. 1 Jul 80-30 Sep 81,
AIR FORCE AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
Pagination or Media Count:
The cartilaginous end plates define the anatomical boundaries of the disc, serve as an area of contact with the vertebral body, and act as a semi-peremeable membrane. The anatomic relationships that exist between the end plate and immediately adjacent structures can be better understood if ultrastructure is interpreted in conjunction with established histology. Undecalcified sections of Rhesus Macaca mulatta spinal segments were prepared, for both light and scanning electron microscopy, from 17 adolescent and young adults with radiographically normal spines. Alternate thick and thin sections were cut at 0.5 mm intervals through quick-frozen tissues, embedded in sodium carboxymethyl cellulose. Thin sections were stained for histological and histochemical examination and thick sections were examined with an Etec Auto Scan electron microscope. End plate cartilage from mature spines demonstrate a micro-heterogeneous structure. Strut-like inter-territorial regions impregnated with calcium salts separate and define inter-connecting cellular and pericellular domains. The proteoglycan content of the pericellular matrix strains more intensely then does the inter-territorial region. Structural and histochemical data suggest the presence of cell-mediated diffusion pathway allowing for trans-endplate movement of disc nutrients.
- Anatomy and Physiology