A group of researchers have discovered a population of stem cells which have the ability to generate new bone. They reside along the vascular channels that stretch across bone and connect the inner and outer parts of the bone.
This is a new discovery of perivascular cells which reside within the bone itself. They can generate new bone forming cells, and these cells likely regulate the formation of bone or participate in bone mass repair and maintenance.
It has long been thought that stem cells for bone are present within bone marrow and the outer surfaces of bone. Recent research has described the existence of a network of vascular channels that assisted in distributing blood cells out of bone marrow. However, no studies have proven the existence of cells within these channels that have the ability to form new bone.
In the recent study, the team are the first to report the existence of these progenitor cells within cortical bone that can generate new osteoblasts or new bone forming cells and can be used to remodel bone. The team observed the stem cells within an ex vivo bone transplantation model. The cells migrated out of the transplant and began to reconstruct the bone marrow cavity and begin forming new bone.
Although the study shows this population of cells which can help aid formation of bone, more research is needed to determine the cell’s potential to regulate bone resorption and formation.
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