Innervation is higher above Bone Remodeling Surfaces and in Cortical Pores in Human Bone: Lessons from patients with primary hyperparathyroidism

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Mounting evidence from animal studies suggests a role of the nervous system in bone physiology. However, little is known about the nerve fiber localization to human bone compartments and bone surface events. This study reveals the density and distribution of nerves in human bone and the association of nerve profiles to bone remodeling events and vascular structures in iliac crest biopsies isolated from patients diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). Bone sections were sequentially double-immunostained for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a marker for sympathetic nerves, followed by protein gene product 9.5 (PGP9.5), a pan-neuronal marker, or double-immunostained for either PGP9.5 or TH in combination with CD34, an endothelial marker. In the bone marrow, the nerve profile density was significantly higher above remodeling surfaces as compared to quiescent bone surfaces. Ninety-five percentages of all nerve profiles were associated with vascular structures with the highest association to capillaries and arterioles. Moreover, vasculature with innervation was denser above bone remodeling surfaces. Finally, the nerve profiles density was 5-fold higher in the intracortical pores compared to bone marrow and periosteum. In conclusion, the study shows an anatomical link between innervation and bone remodeling in human bone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5361
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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