Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Go with the flow—hidden vascular passages in bone

The circulatory system in long bones is incompletely understood. A new study published in Nature Metabolism unveils the presence of dense vascular networks in long bones that facilitate the egress of bone marrow cells and potentially the exchange of nutrients between the bone marrow and the systemic circulation.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Formation and function of trans-cortical vein canals within compact bone.


  1. 1.

    Grüneboom, A. et al. Nat. Metab. (2019).

  2. 2.

    Teitelbaum, S. L. Bone resorption by osteoclasts. Science 289, 1504–1508 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Stains, J. P. & Civitelli, R. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1719, 69–81 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Herisson, F. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 21, 1209–1217 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Marinova-Mutafchieva, L., Williams, R. O., Funa, K., Maini, R. N. & Zvaifler, N. J. Arthritis Rheum. 46, 507–513 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Werner, D. et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 69, 1580–1587 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Ortega-Gómez, A., Perretti, M. & Soehnlein, O. EMBO Mol. Med. 5, 661–674 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Ramasamy, S. K. et al. Nat. Commun. 7, 13601 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Nakashima, T. et al. Nat. Med. 17, 1231–1234 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Fullerton, J. N. & Gilroy, D. W. Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 15, 551–567 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christopher Ritchlin.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

I.A. has received consultancy fees/grants from Pfizer, Schering-Plough/Merck, Tanabe Research Labs, and Novartis. C.R. declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ritchlin, C., Adamopoulos, I.E. Go with the flow—hidden vascular passages in bone. Nat Metab 1, 173–174 (2019).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing