Elastic fibers in the annulus fibrosus of the dog intervertebral disc

E. F. Johnson, Robert William Caldwell, H. E. Berryman

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24 Scopus citations


A light microscopic investigation of the annulus fibrosus in cervical intervertebral discs of the dog was conducted to ascertain the arrangement and distribution of elastic fibers. Elastic fibers were observed in all lamellae of the annulus fibrosus. However, collagenous fibers were the predominant type of connective tissue fiber, and elastic fibers were randomly dispersed among them. Intralamellar (collagenous and elastic) fibers were vertically and obliquely oriented in both superficial and deep lamellae of the annulus fibrosus. All intralamellar fibers were densely and regularly arranged in superficial lamellae, but they were more loosely organized in deep lamellae. A narrow border in interlamellar, elastic fibers was observed between broader, contiguous lamellae in the superficial zone of the annulus fibrosus. Interlamellar elastic fibers were vertically and obliquely arranged in superficial lamellae; however, they were radially oriented in deep lamellae. The deepest lamella of the annulus fibrosus consisted of a loose, three-dimensional network of intermeshing collagenous and elastic fibers. These observations suggest that elastic fibers are integral components of the articular shock absorption mechanisms of the annulus fibrosus, and the cervical intervertebral disc of the dog is a suitable model for experimental investigation of the role of elastic fibers in intervertebral disc herniation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
JournalActa Anatomica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy


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