Osteocytes are thought to be the mechanosensors of bone by sensing mechanical loads imposed upon the bone and transmitting these signals to the other bone cells to initiate bone modeling and remodeling. The location of osteocytes deep within bone is ideal for their function. However, this location makes the study of osteocytes in vivo technically difficult. There are several methods for obtaining and culturing primary osteocytes for in vitro experiments and ex vivo observation. In this chapter, several proven methods are discussed including the isolation of avian osteocytes from chicks and osteocytes from calvaria and long bones of young mice. A detailed protocol for the isolation of osteocytes from hypermineralized bone of mature and aged animals is provided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)