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Journal Article

The organization of the osteocyte network mirrors the extracellular matrix orientation in bone


Mundlos,  S.
Research Group Development & Disease (Head: Stefan Mundlos), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Kerschnitzki, M., Wagermaier, W., Roschger, P., Seto, J., Shahar, R., Duda, G. N., et al. (2011). The organization of the osteocyte network mirrors the extracellular matrix orientation in bone. J Struct Biol, 173(2), 303-11. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21081167 http://pdn.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=MiamiImageURL&_cid=272607&_user=28761&_pii=S1047847710003515&_check=y&_origin=article&_zone=toolbar&_coverDate=28-Feb-2011&view=c&originContentFamily=serial&wchp=dGLzVlV-zSkzV&md5=e25715008c0af23c34cd2a6a712b6f23/1-s2.0-S1047847710003515-main.pdf.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-7852-7
Bone is a dynamic tissue that is continually undergoing a process of remodeling - an effect due to the interplay between bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts. When new bone is deposited, some of the osteoblasts are embedded in the mineralizing collagen matrix and differentiate to osteocytes, forming a dense network throughout the whole bone tissue. Here, we investigate the extent to which the organization of the osteocyte network controls the collagen matrix arrangement found in various bone tissues. Several tissue types from equine, ovine and murine bone have been examined using confocal laser scanning microscopy as well as polarized light microscopy and back-scattered electron imaging. From comparing the spatial arrangements of unorganized and organized bone, we propose that the formation of a highly oriented collagen matrix requires an alignment of osteoblasts whereby a substrate layer provides a surface such that osteoblasts can align and, collectively, build new matrix. Without such a substrate, osteoblasts act isolated and only form matrices without long range order. Hence, we conclude that osteoblasts synthesize and utilize scaffold-like primary tissue as a guide for the deposition of highly ordered and mechanically competent bone tissue by a collective action of many cells.