Small Interfering RNA-Mediated Suppression of Fas Modulate Apoptosis and Proliferation in Rat Intervertebral Disc Cells

  • Park, Jong-Beom (Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea) ;
  • Park, Chanjoo (Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea)
  • Received : 2016.11.09
  • Accepted : 2016.12.13
  • Published : 2017.10.31


Study Design: In vitro cell culture model. Purpose: To investigate the effect of small interfering RNA (siRNA) on Fas expression, apoptosis, and proliferation in serum-deprived rat disc cells. Overview of Literature: Synthetic siRNA can trigger an RNA interference (RNAi) response in mammalian cells and precipitate the inhibition of specific gene expression. However, the potential utility of siRNA technology in downregulation of specific genes associated with disc cell apoptosis remains unclear. Methods: Rat disc cells were isolated and cultured in the presence of either 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) (normal control) or 0% FBS (serum deprivation to induce apoptosis) for 48 hours. Fas expression, apoptosis, and proliferation were determined. Additionally, siRNA oligonucleotides against Fas (Fas siRNA) were transfected into rat disc cells to suppress Fas expression. Changes in Fas expression were assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and semiquantitatively analyzed using densitometry. The effect of Fas siRNA on apoptosis and proliferation of rat disc cells were also determined. Negative siRNA and transfection agent alone (Mock) were used as controls. Results: Serum deprivation increased apoptosis by 40.3% (p<0.001), decreased proliferation by 45.3% (p<0.001), and upregulated Fas expression. Additionally, Fas siRNA suppressed Fas expression in serum-deprived cultures, with 68.5% reduction at the mRNA level compared to the control cultures (p<0.001). Finally, Fas siRNA-mediated suppression of Fas expression significantly inhibited apoptosis by 9.3% and increased proliferation by 21% in serum-deprived cultures (p<0.05 for both). Conclusions: The observed dual positive effect of Fas siRNA might be a powerful therapeutic approach for disc degeneration by suppression of harmful gene expression.