Apart from aging process, adult intervertebral disc (IVD) undergoes various degenerative processes. However, the nicotine has not been well identified as a contributing etiology. According to a few studies, nicotine ingestion through smoking, air or clothing may significantly accumulate in active as well as passive smokers. Since nicotine has been demonstrated to adversely impact various physiological processes, such as sympathetic nervous system, leading to impaired vasculature and cellular apoptosis, we aimed to investigate whether nicotine could induce IVD degeneration. In particular, we evaluated dose-dependent impact of nicotine in vitro to simulate its chronic accumulation, which was later treated by platelet-derived biomaterials (PDB). Further, during in vivo studies, mice were subcutaneously administered with nicotine to examine IVD-associated pathologic changes. The results revealed that nicotine could significantly reduce chondrocytes and chondrogenic indicators (Sox, Col II and aggrecan). Mice with nicotine treatment also exhibited malformed IVD structure with decreased Col II as well as proteoglycans, which was significantly increased after PDB administration for 4 weeks. Mechanistically, PDB significantly restored the levels of IGF-1 signaling proteins, particularly pIGF-1 R, pAKT, and IRS-1, modulating ECM synthesis by chondrocytes. Conclusively, the PDB impart reparative and tissue regenerative processes by inhibiting nicotine-initiated IVD degeneration, through regulating IGF-1/AKT/IRS-1 signaling axis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Transplantation
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • IGF-1
  • Intervertebral disc degeneration
  • nicotine
  • Platelet-derived biomaterials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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