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Letter

Nucleus pulposus cells as competent phagocytes to clear apoptotic cells: mission applicable or impossible?

Hai-Qiang Wang and Zhuo-Jing Luo*

Author Affiliations

Institute of Orthopaedics, Xijing Hospital, #17 Changle Western Road, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an 710032, PR China

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:405  doi:10.1186/ar2647


See related research article by Jones et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/10/4/R86, and related letter by Jones et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/11/3/406

Published: 6 May 2009

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

We have read with interest the research article by Philip Jones and colleagues, in which they studied whether bovine nucleus pulposus (NP) cells were capable of behaving as phagocytes [1]. Collectively, they drew the conclusion that disc cells clearly can undergo phagocytosis, which has implications for the intervertebral disc in vivo. We would like to differ from the authors, however, regarding the implications of the role of NP cells in vivo in comparison with in vitro as competent phagocytes to ingest apoptotic cells.