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This review summarizes the current literature data on the structure and function of the cartilage endplate in humans and animals. Age aspect of the cartilage endplate changes and its disturbances in disk degeneration is presented. The role of endplate chondrocyte apoptosis in the initiation of the intervertebral disk degeneration is shown. The experimental models of cartilage endplate damage and following them cascade of pathological events were analyzed. Presented clinical data involvingdoi:10.22141/2224-1507.2.06.2012.82229 doaj:cc7861b76ef54af4bb10ee909926eb6e fatcat:rlw5qt3umrfylfeeplpr2hiw54