It has been proposed that apoptosis is effective on intervertebral disc degeneration. This study is the first study in which both polymorphisms and expressions of apoptotic genes in patients with intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) are evaluated together. The aim of our study is to determine whether polymorphisms and expressions of apoptotic genes involved in both pathways are related with grades of IVDD or not. Material and Methods:
Blood and tissue samples of 100 patients diagnosed with lumbar disc degeneration were collected. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to their radiological degeneration grades as grade 2 (mild) and grade 3 and 4 (severe). Polymorphisms in Fas (rs 2234767), Bcl-2 (rs 1801018) and Bax (rs 4645878) genes were determined with real-time PCR. Expressions of these genes were analyzed immunohistochemically following Histological Degeneration Scoring. Results:
Whereas no relationship was found among polymorphisms of Fas and Bax genes and their expressions, we have determined a relationship among GG genotype of Bcl-2 and their expressions. Additionally, we have found that ratio of Bax-positive cells is related with IVDD grades. In addition to this, we have found that radiological degeneration grades were compatible with histological degeneration scores. Conclusion:
GG genotype of Bcl-2 gene may influence the level of its expression and may be effective in development of IVDD. Additionally, expression of Bax gene may be related with different grades of IVDD.