Recently, a population of stem cells with the ability to generate new bone has been discovered by researchers at the UConn School of Dental Medicine.
The study where the finding is revealed has been published in the journal Stem Cells .
The new population of cells reside along the vascular canals that run through the bone and connect the inner and outer parts of the bone. These cells probably regulate bone formation or participate in the maintenance and repair of bone mass .
Stem cells for bone have long been believed to be present within the 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 outside the bone marrow, but no research has shown the existence of cells within these channels that have the ability to form new bones .
To reach this conclusion, the researchers looked at stem cells within an ex vivo bone transplant model. These cells migrated out of the transplant and began to rebuild the bone marrow cavity and form new bone.
While this study shows that there is a population of cells that can aid bone formation, more research needs to be done to determine the cells’ potential to regulate bone formation .