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Nucleus Pulposus (L2-L3)
Connective Tissue

Nucleus Pulposus (L2-L3)

Nucleus pulposus

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Anatomical Relations

The nucleus pulposus lies posterior to the center of the vertebral body. It is surrounded by the concentric lamellae of the anulus fibrosus.

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Function

The nucleus pulposus acts as a shock absorber and permits a very limited range of movement between vertebrae. In the elderly, the nucleus pulposus is less jelly-like and it increases its fibrous content. Thus, they lose their flexibility and are more prone to injury (Waxenbaum and Futterman, 2017).

Structure

The nucleus pulposus is well developed in both the cervical and the lumbar spine. Postnatally it is a mucoid, gelatinous substance. Over time, collagen fibers from the internal surface of the anulus fibrosus invade and eventually form a gel-like, fibrocartilaginous tissue characteristic of mature intervertebral discs.

References

Waxenbaum, J. A. and Futterman, B. (2017) 'Anatomy, Back, Spine, Intervertebral Disc.', Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.

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Nucleus Pulposus

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The normal NP proteoglycan content is a function of the delicate balance between anabolic and catabolic enzymatic activities.

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