Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Emerging Evidence of Osteocytes as Mechanosensors and Regulators of Mineralisation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Harish Datta


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Osteoblasts that are encased by the matrix they synthesise become end differentiated cells called osteocytes, and are found regularly distributed throughout the mineralised matrix. Osteocytes are by far the most common cell type in bone, constituting over 90% of adult bone cells.1 Although osteocytes are relatively inactive compared with osteoblasts, there is nevertheless emerging evidence that osteocytes play a critical role in the determination and maintenance of bone structure. The bone matrix physically isolates each osteocyte from other osteocytes, as well as from other bone cells. Therefore, osteocytes interact with other cells via an elaborate network of dendritic processes that run inside minute canals called canaliculi.2 This lacunar canaliculi network accounts for only about 1% of bone fluid volume, yet provides an enormous surface area for responding to mechanical strain. These processes are thought to have the potential to modulate bone resorption and inhibit mineralisation, as micropetrosis has been documented in the absence of osteocytes.3 Interestingly, the dendritic processes are also in contact with the bone marrow,4 giving them the potential to regulate mesenchymal stem cell differentiation5 and modulate bone resorption by recruiting osteoclast precursors.6

Publication metadata

Author(s): Datta HK, Wu JJ, Tuck S, Walker J

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Musculoskeletal Review

Year: 2008

Volume: 3

Issue: 2

Pages: 48-52

Print publication date: 01/01/2008

ISSN (print): 1754-5072

ISSN (electronic): 1754-5080

Publisher: Touch Briefings