The researchers from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have mapped the unique genetic profile of the skeleton’s ‘master regulator’ cells, known as Osteocytes for the first time.
- The study published today in Nature Communications.
Key Findings of the study:
- The researchers have outlined the genes that are switched on and off in osteocytes.
- This will help in diagnosing bone diseases that have genetic component.
- For the first time, the researchers have pictured the whole landscape of osteocytes.
- They have found that majority of the genes that are active within osteocytes had no role in bones.
- This means that they only give commands.
- This discovery will help to understand what controls the skeleton actually.
- Osteocytes are the longest living bone cell, making up 90–95% of cells in bone tissue in contrast to Osteoclasts and Osteoblasts making up ~5% (40).
- They are oblate-shaped bone cells.
- They are found in bone tissues.
- They live as long as the organism lives.
- There are more than 42 billion Osteocytes in the human body.
- The Osteocytes do not divide.
- Their average half-life is 25 years.
- The skeleton of the humans keeps changing structurally throughout his life.
- Osteocytes are the most abundant cell present in bones.
- Osteocytes form when osteoblasts become buried in the mineral matrix of bone and develop distinct features.
- These osteocytes form a network similar to the neurons in the brain.
- There are more than 23 trillion connections between 42 billion osteocytes.
- This network is responsible for monitoring bone health.
- It responds to aging.
- They also send signals to other cells in the bone to build or break down an old bone.
- The diseases such as osteoporosis are caused due to imbalance in these processes.
Development of Bones:
- During Bone formation Osteoblast is left behind.
- Osteoblasts are cells that synthesize bones.
- The process of bone formation is still not known completely.