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Investigations on cortisol in relation to chronic low back pain Hair analysis and effects on human mesenchymal stem cells and disc cells

Johanna Nilsson
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2018. 87 s.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most significant health issues causing disability in the world today, and it is commonly believed to be caused by intervertebral disc degeneration. Chronic pain induced stress correlates with high cortisol levels and have been linked with a number of adverse effects on the body and its cells. This master thesis investigates the effect that high cortisol levels have on disc cells (DC) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from patients with intervertebral disc degeneration. The aim was to study the effect of cortisol on chondrogenesis, extracellular matrix (ECM) production, and apoptosis. Also investigated were cell viability, proliferation, and morphology of the cells. The two cell types were studied both in monolayer for 7 days for DCs and 14 days for MSCs and in pellet cultures for 28 days. The results showed that the cortisol did have an adverse effect on the proliferation of the disc cells, observed as lower DNA content in the pellets treated with cortisol. Further, less ECM production was seen with a lower proteoglycan accumulation for the cortisol treated pellets. Apoptotic cells were found in all pellet systems, but to a higher degree for the pellets treated with cortisol for both cell types. Lastly, differentiation was compromised in MSCs treated with cortisol compared with the control. However, chondrogenesis was achieved in all pellet systems. No apparent difference was seen for the morphology and viability for either monolayer or pellet cultures. To conclude, cortisol does seem to have a negative impact on mesenchymal stem cells and disc cells from patients with disc degeneration at the concentrations tested in this thesis. This thesis also explores different methods for measuring longterm cortisol level in human hair with the prospective of use in patients with low back pain. Two methods were chosen and evaluated, HPLC-MS2 and ELISA, both with high prospects. However, more research is needed to decide which one is the most robust with respect to reproducible results.

Publikationen registrerades 2018-10-22. Den ändrades senast 2018-10-24

CPL ID: 256195

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