You might think of your bones as unchanging, but they are far more dynamic than you think. Today’s image is from a paper identifying a new blood vessel subtype found in the mouse skeletal system.
Osteogenesis is the formation of new bone tissue, and is important in bone renewal and fracture healing. Recent work suggests that osteogenesis may depend on the presence of blood vessels. A recent paper identified a new capillary subtype found in the mouse skeletal system. Kusumbe and colleagues found that these microvessels mediate growth of bone vasculature, and couple osteogenesis with angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels). These vessels and their associated osteoprogenitors were reduced in older bone, yet the reversal of this decline allowed bone mass renewal. In the images above, the microvessels (green) have a branched organization in a juvenile mouse tibia (arrowheads point to interconnections).
Kusumbe, A., Ramasamy, S., & Adams, R. (2014). Coupling of angiogenesis and osteogenesis by a specific vessel subtype in bone Nature, 507 (7492), 323-328 DOI: 10.1038/nature13145
Adapted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd, copyright ©2014