Altered lumbar spine structure, biochemistry, and biomechanical properties in a canine model of mucopolysaccharidosis type VII

Lachlan J. Smith, John T. Martin, Spencer E. Szczesny, Katherine P. Ponder, Mark E. Haskins, Dawn M. Elliott

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28 Scopus citations


Mucopolysaccharidosis VII (MPS VII) is a lysosomal storage disorder characterized by a deficiency in β-glucuronidase activity, leading to systemic accumulation of poorly degraded glycosaminoglycans (GAG). Along with other morbidities, MPS VII is associated with pediatric spinal deformity. The objective of this study was to examine potential associations between abnormal lumbar spine matrix structure and composition in MPS VII, and spine segment and tissue-level mechanical properties, using a naturally occurring canine model with a similar clinical phenotype to the human form of the disorder. Segments from juvenile MPS VII and unaffected dogs were allocated to: radiography, gross morphology, histology, biochemistry, and mechanical testing. MPS VII spines had radiolucent lesions in the vertebral body epiphyses. Histologically, this corresponded to a GAG-rich cartilaginous region in place of bone and elevated GAG staining was seen in the annulus fibrosus. Biochemically, MPS VII samples had elevated GAG in the outer annulus fibrosus and epiphyses, low calcium in the epiphyses, and high water content in all regions except the nucleus pulposus.MPS VII spine segments had higher range of motion and lower stiffness than controls. Endplate indentation stiffness and failure loads were significantly lower in MPSVII samples, while annulus fibrosus tensile mechanical properties were normal. Vertebral body lesions in MPS VII spines suggest a failure to convert cartilage to bone during development. Low stiffness in these regions likely contributes to mechanical weakness in motion segments and is a potential factor in the progression of spinal deformity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-622
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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