Turkish Neurosurgery
Is Favipiravir a Potential Therapeutic Agent in the Treatment of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration by Suppressing Autophagy and Apoptosis?
Ibrahim YILMAZ1, Hande AKALAN2, Duygu SIRIN YASAR2, Numan KARAARSLAN3, Hanefi OZBEK4, Ozkan ATES5
1Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Health, Doctor Ismail Fehmi Cumalioglu City Hospital, Pharmacovigilance, Tekirdag,
2Namik Kemal University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Tekirdag,
3Halic University School of Medicine, Neurosurgery, Istanbul,
4Izmir Bakircay University School of Medicine, Medical Pharmacology, Izmir,
5Koc University School of Medicine, Neurosurgery, Istanbul,
DOI: 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.38252-22.3

Aim:The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of favipiravir (FVP) on cell viability and cytotoxicity in human degenerated primary intervertebral disc (IVD) tissue cell cultures treated with FVP. Furthermore, the protein expressions of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α), nuclear factor-kappa-b (NF-κB), and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) were also examined.Material and Methods:Untreated cell cultures served as the control group, named group 1. Cell cultures treated with FVP served as the study group, named group 2. Pharmacomolecular analyses were performed in all groups at 0, 24, 48, and 72 hours (h). Obtained data were evaluated statistically. Results:Cell proliferation was suppressed in the FVP-treated samples compared to the control group samples at 24 and 72 h, and this was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Decreased or increased protein expression levels of HIF-1 NF-κB, and IL-1β in FVP-treated samples may be an indication of suppression in anabolic events as well as proliferation in IVD cultures. FVP administration showed that AF/NP cells in a culture medium may induce a strong inflammatory response to FVP. This strong inflammatory response is likely to cause slowed proliferation. It may also be a trigger for many catabolic events. NF-B expression increased within the first 24 h and then decreased rapidly. Based on the data obtained, it may be suggested that the rapidly increasing NF-kB may have stimulated the expression of many antiproliferative genes.Conclusion:The suppression of IL-1β and NF-kB protein expressions in IVD cells treated with FVP is important in the treatment of IVD degeneration (IDD). If the protein expression of HIF-1α could be increased along with the suppression of IL-1β and NF-kB, FVP would perhaps be a promising pharmacological agent in the treatment of IDD.

Corresponding author : Numan KARAARSLAN