Researchers from the University of Connecticut, School of Dental Medicine in the United States have discovered that a population of stem cells can generate a new bone. The researchers present a new population of cells that reside along the vascular channels that stretch across the bone and connect the inner and outer parts of the bone.
Lead researcher, Dr Kalajzic said that this is a discovery of perivascular cells residing within the bone itself that can generate new bone forming cells. These cells may regulate bone formation or participate in bone mass maintenance and repair.
In their research study, they managed to be the first one to ever report the existence of these progenitor cells within cortical bone that can generate new bone forming cells called osteoblasts, which can be used to help in remodeling a bone.
During the study, the researchers observed the stem cells within an ex vivo bone transplantation model. These cells migrated out of the transplant and began to reconstruct the marrow cavity and form new bone.
Scientists said that while the research study shows that a population of cells can help aid bone formation, extensive research must be done to determine the cells potential in regulating bone formation and resorption.
Stem cells for bone have long been thought to be present within bone marrow and the outer surface of bone, serving as reserve cells that constantly generate new bone or participate in bone repair.
Recent studies have described the existence of a network of vascular channels that helped distribute blood cells out of the bone marrow, but no research has proved the existence of cells within these channels that can form new bones.