The degeneration of intervertebral disc (IVD) could be divided into 5 stages. In the first and second stages, there are no significant symptoms but could be traced by MRI or CT-scan. Generally, no aggressive treatment would be processed in the clinics. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been overproduced in degenerative IVD that could be associated with apoptosis of NP cells and degradation of ECM. Ferulic acid (FA) has been reported an excellent antioxidant and relatively stable in air. The study was aimed to evaluate the therapeutic effects of FA on hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress NP cells and the potential for early treatment in IVD degeneration. The results showed that 500 μM of FA might be the threshold dose to treat NP cells without cytotoxicity. Post-treatment of FA on hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress NP cells significantly up regulated the expression of aggrecan, type II collagen and BMP-7 and down regulated the expression of MMP-3 in mRNA level. Post-treatment of FA on hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress NP cells could restore the production of sulfated-GAGs and inhibit the apoptosis caused by hydrogen peroxide. From the results of the study, FA could be used as a therapeutic agent for NP regeneration in the very near future.
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