Time to rewrite “The Anatomy Books”…

A new blood vessel unknown to the medical fraternity has been discovered. These newly discovered blood vessels cross from the bones’ surfaces to their internal cavity. This discovery promises to shed more light on bone diseases example osteoporosis and condition involving the immune system. Several areas of science has seen major discoveries but the human anatomy is not usually seen as an ongoing area of major discoveries. Matthias Gunzer of University of Duisburg-Esten in Germany says “It’s totally crazy. There are still things to find out about human anatomy. We have discovered blood vessels in new place that we did not know about before”. The team made their discovery by using chemicals in a mouse bone to make it transparent. Tiny red blood vessels were seen crossing the bone shaft. Thousands of these capillaries dubbed trans-cortical vessel.

Previously, few blood vessels are known to enter the bone at its ends or half way along. These newly discovered capillary blood vessels cover the whole bone making most of its blood supply. The team also spotted these trans-cortical vessels in the human thigh bone too.  Similar discoveries was made between the brain tissue and the bone marrow inside the plates that make up the skull last year by a a group of medical scientists. When mice were made to have meningitis, immune cells from their skull used these route of blood vessels to reach the brain responding to damage. It is however not known if the human skull has similar network.

Source: Nature metabolism; DOI;10.1038/S42255-018-0016-5