Current Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 132–141 | Cite as

IVD Development: Nucleus Pulposus Development and Sclerotome Specification

  • Bashar Alkhatib
  • Ga I. Ban
  • Sade Williams
  • Rosa SerraEmail author
Intervertebral Disk Degeneration and Regeneration (MV Risbud, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Intervertebral Disk Degeneration and Regeneration


Purpose of Review

Intervertebral discs (IVD) are derived from embryonic notochord and sclerotome. The nucleus pulposus is derived from notochord while other connective tissues of the spine are derived from sclerotome. This manuscript will review the past 5 years of research into IVD development.

Recent Findings

Over the past several years, advances in understanding the step-wise process that govern development of the nucleus pulposus and the annulus fibrosus have been made. Generation of tissues from induced or embryonic stem cells into nucleus pulposus and paraxial mesoderm derived tissues has been accomplished in vitro using pathways identified in normal development. A balance between BMP and TGF-ß signaling as well as transcription factors including Pax1/Pax9, Mkx, and Nkx3.2 appear to be very important for cell fate decisions generating tissues of the IVD.


Understanding how the IVD develops will provide the foundation for future repair, regeneration, and tissue engineering strategies for IVD disease.


Axial skeleton development Sclerotome Notochord Annulus fibrosus Nucleus pulposus 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Bashar Alkhatib, Ga I Ban, Sade Williams, and Rosa Serra declare no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major Importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bashar Alkhatib
    • 1
  • Ga I. Ban
    • 1
  • Sade Williams
    • 1
  • Rosa Serra
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Cell Developmental and Integrative BiologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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