Bone from Blood: Circulating Cells Form Bone Outside the Normal Skeleton

By | July 24, 2009

Bone from Blood Circulating Cells Form Bone Outside the Normal Skeleton

The accepted dogma has been that bone-forming cells, derived from the body’s connective tissue, are the only cells able to form the skeleton. However, new research shows that specialized cells in the blood share a common origin with white blood cells derived from the bone marrow and that these bloodstream cells are capable of forming bone at sites distant from the original skeleton. This work, published online this month in the journal Stem Cells, represents the first example of how circulating cells may contribute to abnormal bone formation….

The researchers analyzed blood samples from patients with FOP and unaffected individuals, isolating cells that could form bone when transplanted subcutaneously into animals. The isolated cells were characterized using surface and other markers, which identified them as being derived from bone marrow. The researchers also examined tissue from FOP patients that had formed new bone, and found that these cells had migrated into the early sites of the lesion.

“This study provides an explanation for how bone-forming cells could seed sites of injury and inflammation that subsequently develop ossifications outside the skeleton,†says Frederick S. Kaplan, MD, Isaac & Rose Nassau Professor of Orthopedic Molecular Medicine and Director of the Center for FOP & Related Disorders at Penn. “Dr. Pignolo and researchers in his lab demonstrated that these circulating cells are able to home to damaged tissue.â€

via Penn Medicine News: Bone from Blood: Circulating Cells Form Bone Outside the Normal Skeleton.

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