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Angiogenesis. 2017 Aug;20(3):291-302. doi: 10.1007/s10456-017-9541-1. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

The role of vasculature in bone development, regeneration and proper systemic functioning.

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Chair of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 12 Kopernika St., 31-034, Kraków, Poland.
Chair of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 12 Kopernika St., 31-034, Kraków, Poland.
Department of Orthopedics and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 19e Kopernika St., 31-501, Kraków, Poland.


Bone is a richly vascularized connective tissue. As the main source of oxygen, nutrients, hormones, neurotransmitters and growth factors delivered to the bone cells, vasculature is indispensable for appropriate bone development, regeneration and remodeling. Bone vasculature also orchestrates the process of hematopoiesis. Blood supply to the skeletal system is provided by the networks of arteries and arterioles, having distinct molecular characteristics and localizations within the bone structures. Blood vessels of the bone develop through the process of angiogenesis, taking place through different, bone-specific mechanisms. Impaired functioning of the bone blood vessels may be associated with the occurrence of some skeletal and systemic diseases, i.e., osteonecrosis, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis or diabetes mellitus. When a disease or trauma-related large bone defects appear, bone grafting or bone tissue engineering-based strategies are required. However, a successful bone regeneration in both approaches largely depends on a proper blood supply. In this paper, we review the most recent data on the functions, molecular characteristics and significance of the bone blood vessels, with a particular emphasis on the role of angiogenesis and blood vessel functioning in bone development and regeneration, as well as the consequences of its impairment in the course of different skeletal and systemic diseases.


Angiogenesis and osteogenesis; Bone development and regeneration; Bone vasculature; Bone vasculature impairment; Skeletal and systemic diseases; Type H and L endothelial cells

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