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New treatment option for injured bones?
Bone damage and injury is widespread, so improved healing or new bone formation would be beneficial. A recently identified population of stem cells has the ability to form new bones and is involved in bone maintenance and repair.
The University of Connecticut's latest investigation found that a newly identified population of stem cells can regenerate and repair bones. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "STEM CELLS".
Cell population regenerates bones
Since injuries and fractures of our bones generally occur quite frequently, improved ways to cure such incidents are urgently needed. The newly discovered cell population could be part of such a solution because it has the ability to regenerate bones. These cells are located along the so-called vascular channels, which extend over the bone and connect the inner and outer parts of the bone.
Cells regulate bone formation and repair of bone mass
"This is a new discovery of perivascular cells that are located in the bone itself and can produce new bone-forming cells," says study author Professor Dr. Ivo Kalajzic from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine in a press release. The newly identified cells are likely to regulate bone formation or are involved in maintaining and repairing bone mass, the expert adds.
Stem cells are a kind of reserve cells
Bone stem cells have long been suspected in the bone marrow and on the outer surface of the bone. They serve as reserve cells, which continuously generate new bones or are involved in bone repair.
In the past, the cells could not be detected
Recent studies have already described the existence of a network of vascular canals that help distribute blood cells from the bone marrow. However, no research has so far proven the existence of cells within these channels, which cells have the ability to regenerate bones.
What are osteoblasts?
In the current study, the existence of these progenitor cells in the so-called cortex was reported for the first time. These progenitor cells can form new bone formation cells called osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are involved in bone remodeling.
Cells began to reconstruct the bone marrow cavity
To reach this conclusion, the researchers observed the stem cells within an ex vivo bone transplant model. In the attempt, these cells migrated out of the graft and began to reconstruct the bone marrow cavity and form new bones.
Further research is needed
While this study shows that there is a population of cells that can support bone formation, more research needs to be done to determine the potential of cells to regulate bone formation and resorption, the researchers add. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Sierra H. Root, Natalie K. Y. Wee, Sanja Novak, Clifford J. Rosen, Roland Baron et al .: Perivascular osteoprogenitors are associated with transcortical channels of long bones, in STEM CELLS (published 02/13/2020), STEM CELLS
- Courtney Chandler: UConn Researchers Discover New Stem Cells That Can Generate New Bone, University of Connecticut (Published March 5, 2020), University of Connecticut