Endothelial Cells and Bone Cells

  • Olusola O. A. Oni
  • S. Dearing
  • S. Pringle
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 247)


There is a long, and distinguished tradition of belief in the theory that endothelial cells give rise to bone cells. Haller (1763), Hunter (1835) and Keith (1927) have all proposed that bone originated from the blood vessels. Figure 1 shows a schema of the progeny of bone cells proposed by Trueta (1963) who envisaged a syncytium of cells originating from the endothelial cell and terminating in the osteocyte. According to Trueta (1963), dying osteocytes and endothelial cells produce a vascular stimulating factor which attracts vessels to the fracture site. As a consequence, in the fracture callus, vessels migrate towards the ischaemic area at the centre of the fracture. Bone deposition radiates from, and is moulded onto, the vascular pattern. Trueta’s schema is based on the concept of contiguity of cells. Recently, Brighton and Hunt (1991) provided electron microscopic evidence in support of the theory. This evidence is only indirect, however. The fact that cells are lying next to one another is not a conclusive proof that they are related. On the other hand, Hulth et al. (1990) using immunocytochemical methods which localised laminin and other basement membrane components have demonstrated vessel-like structures in the callus cartilage. These findings have not yet been corroborated.


Bone Cell Endochondral Ossification Basement Membrane Component Fracture Callus Immunocytochemical Method 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brighton, C.T., R.M. Hunt: Early histological and ultrastructural changes in medullary fracture callus. J. Bone Joint Surg. 73A: 832–847 (1991).Google Scholar
  2. Damjanov, I.: Biology of disease. Lectin cytochemistry and histochemistry. Lab. Investig. 57: 5–20 (1987).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Haller, von A.: Experimentum de ossium formatione. In Opera minora, vol. 2, Lausanne, Francisci Grasset, pp 400 (1763).Google Scholar
  4. Holthofer, H., I. Virtanen, A.L. Kariniemi, H. Hormia, E. Linder, A. Miettinen: Ulex europeus I lectin as a marker for vascular endothelium in human tissues. Lab. Investig. 47: 60–66 (1982).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Holthofer, H.: Lectin binding sites in kidney. A comparative study of 14 animal species. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 31: 531–537 (1983).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hulth, A., O. Johnell, L. Lindberg, M. Paulsson, D. Heinegard: Demonstration of blood-vessellike structures in cartilaginous callus by antilaminin and antiheparin sulfate proteoglygan antibodies. Clin. Orthop. 254: 289–293 (1990).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Hunter, J.: In works, vol. 1, London, Longman etc., pp 502, 1835.Google Scholar
  8. Keith, Sir A.: Concerning the origin and nature of osteoblasts. Proc. Roy. Soc. Med. 21: 301 (1927).Google Scholar
  9. Lotan, R., G.L. Nicolson: Purification of cell membrane glycoproteins by lectin affinity chromatography. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 559: 329–376 (1979).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Pepper, M.S., J.D. Vassalli, R. Montesano, L. Orci: Urokinase-type plasminogen activator is induced in migrating capillary endothelial cells. J. Cell Biol. 105: 2535–2541 (1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pringle, S., D.P. de Bono: Monoclonal antibodies to damaged and regenerating vascular endothelium. J. Clin. Lab. Immunol. 26: 159–162 (1988).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Stafford, H., O.O.A. Oni, J. Hay, P.J. Gregg: An investigation of the contribution of the extra-osseous tissues to the diaphyseal fracture callus using a rabbit tibial fracture model and in situ immunocytochemical localisation of osteocalcin. J. Orth. Trauma 6: 190–194 (1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Trueta, J.: The role of the vessels in osteogenesis. J. Bone Joint Surg. 45B: 402–418 (1963).Google Scholar
  14. Walker, R.A.: Ulex europeus I-peroxidase as a marker of vascular endothelium: its application in routine histopathology. J. Path. 146: 123–127 (1985).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olusola O. A. Oni
    • 1
  • S. Dearing
    • 1
  • S. Pringle
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Leicester Medical SchoolGlenfiled General HospitalLeicesterUK

Personalised recommendations