The aim of the study was to observe the effects of immobilization on the histomorphology of rats’ intervertebral disc (IVD) and observe the protective effects of widely used neutraceuticals, Omega 3 fatty acids and Co-enzyme Q 10 (CoQ10) on it. The animal experimental study was carried out in the National Institute of Health, Islamabad in collaboration with the Anatomy Department, Army Medical College, Rawalpindi. Forty Sprague Dawley rats, weighing 250-300g, were chosen and grouped into 4 equal sets. Control group A was fed normal lab diet. In experimental group B, along with the lab diet, an Ilizarov apparatus was applied to the rats’ tails for immobilization. In experimental groups C and D, the rats’ tails were immobilized and given Omega 3 fatty acids (260 mg/kg body weight) and CoQ 10 (150 mg/kg body weight) through oral gavage. At completion of the study, IVDs of rats were analysed to see the histologic changes in the nucleus pulposus (NP) and annulus fibrosus (AF).
All the samples showed normal findings for NP in control group A. Degenerative changes were more significant in group B (p-value = 0.001) as compared to group C (p-value=0.005) and D (p-value=0.003). All the samples showed normal findings for AF in control group A. Degenerative changes were more significant in group B (p-value =0.000) as compared to group C (p-value=0.011) and D(p-value=0.003). Chronic immobilization of vertebral column induces degenerative changes in the cellular and matrix content of Intervertebral discs. However, consumption of neutraceuticals mitigates the consequences.