The cellular choreography of osteoblast angiotropism in bone development and homeostasis

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Interaction between endothelial cells and osteoblasts is essential for bone development and homeostasis. This process is mediated in large part by osteoblast angiotropism, the migration of osteoblasts alongside blood vessels, which is crucial for the homing of osteoblasts to sites of bone formation during embryogenesis and in mature bones during remodeling and repair. Specialized bone endothelial cells that form “type H” capillaries have emerged as key interaction partners of osteoblasts, regulating osteoblast differentiation and maturation and ensuring their migration towards newly forming trabecular bone areas. Recent revolutions in high-resolution imaging methodologies for bone as well as single cell and RNA sequencing technologies have enabled the identification of some of the signaling pathways and molecular interactions that underpin this regulatory relationship. Similarly, the intercellular cross talk between endothelial cells and entombed osteocytes that is essential for bone formation, repair, and maintenance are beginning to be uncovered. This is a relatively new area of research that has, until recently, been hampered by a lack of appropriate analysis tools. Now that these tools are available, greater understanding of the molecular relationships between these key cell types is expected to facilitate identification of new drug targets for diseases of bone formation and remodeling.


Original languageEnglish
Article number7253
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2021


  • bone, remodeling, endothelial cell, blood vessel, osteoblast, osteocyte