Osteocytes mapped for the first time

The researchers from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have mapped the Osteocytes for the first time.


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 human body. The Osteocytes do not divide. Their average half life is twenty-five years.

The skeleton of the humans keeps changing structurally throughout his life. Osteocytes are the most abundant cell present in bones. 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 ageing. Also, they send signals to other cells in the bone to build or break down an old bone. The diseases such as osteoporosis is caused due to imbalance in these processes.

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.

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.




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