Spinal canal stenosis refers to a disease in which complex symptoms appear due to compression of the central nerve as the spinal canal, which is a nerve channel located in the center of the spine, narrows. Mainly, it is accompanied by various symptoms such as back pain, pulling and tingling in the legs, and pain when walking. It is a chronic disease caused by degenerative changes, and its functional loss slowly comes, making it difficult to cure and a high risk of relapse. However, spinal canal stenosis progresses over a long period of time with aging, and at the beginning, most of the symptoms do not have subjective symptoms, and symptoms do not appear until the condition worsens. Therefore, it is very important to detect the cause of the disease early and develop a treatment suitable for it.
Jaseng Oriental Medicine Hospital Spinal Joint Research Institute (Director Inhyuk Ha) Kim Hyun-seong and Hong Jin-young, senior researchers, created a standardized animal model for spinal canal stenosis. It was announced on the 31st. The research papers were published in the May issue of’Plos One’, an SCI(E)-level international academic journal, and in the April issue of’Diagnostics’, an SCI(E)-level international academic journal, respectively.
First, in a paper published in Plos One, the research team developed a standardized animal model that can control the severity of spinal canal stenosis according to the hardness of silicon implanted in the spinal canal. In the existing animal model studies, no evaluation of the effect of the difference in silicon hardness was made. For this reason, there is a limitation that the comparison of results is inaccurate because the severity is not uniform even if silicon is implanted.
The research team evaluated the change according to the hardness after inducing spinal canal stenosis by implanting biological silicones of different hardnesses into the spinal canals of mice. The spinal canal was artificially induced by using silicone with a hardness of 70, 80, and 90 kPa between the spine and the central nerve. As a result, the stronger the hardness, the stronger the pressure of the silicone, resulting in increased nerve pressure and inflammatory response, and decreased motor function. Based on this basis, a standardized animal model of spinal canal stenosis was established that can control the degree and severity of nerve damage by adjusting the hardness of silicon.
“We have prepared a standardized animal model development method to scientifically prove and evaluate the effect of spinal stenosis treatment,” said Kim Hyun-sung, a senior researcher at Jaseng Oriental Medicine Hospital’s Spinal Joint Research Institute. “We established an animal model that can be consistently reproduced while inducing a variety of sizes, etc.”
In addition, in a paper published in Diagnostics, the research team at the Spinal Joint Research Institute analyzed changes in mitochondrial function in the cerebrospinal fluid with a newly developed animal model, and found a link between spinal canal stenosis and oxidative stress. This study is an experimental study that detects spinal stenosis early and explores new indicators for the development of treatment. ‘Cerebral spinal fluid’ is a body fluid that protects and maintains the brain and spinal cord, and is used as an indicator for early diagnosis of central nervous system diseases. ‘Oxidative stress’ refers to a state in which the biooxidative balance has collapsed due to an increase in reactive oxygen species produced in the mitochondria, an organelle of cells.
The oxidative stress environment caused by aging causes spinal canal stenosis through the progression of degeneration. The body’s antioxidant system restores homeostasis by removing excess reactive oxygen species. However, it is known that when the function of the antioxidant system decreases due to aging, oxidative damage accumulates in proteins and DNA and creates an oxidative stress environment.
The research team confirmed that in the cerebrospinal fluid obtained from an animal model of spinal stenosis, oxidative factors increased in mitochondria as well as increased oxidative stress of cells. Changes in the oxidative stress of mitochondria in the cerebrospinal fluid are expected to be a useful indicator for early diagnosis and development of treatments for spinal canal stenosis, as it has a profound relationship with inflammatory response, pain induction, and dysfunction.
Jinyoung Hong, a senior researcher at the Institute of Spine and Joint Research at Jaseng Oriental Hospital, said, “This paper proved for the first time that mitochondrial function changes in the cerebrospinal fluid of animals with spinal canal stenosis occur.” “We will continue to continue standardized research to diagnose and treat disease early.”