Lymphatic vessels imaged in bone as they support regeneration after injury
Our bodies are served by a double supply network – our blood carries important cells and chemicals to distant tissues, while our lymphatic system keeps fluids balanced, siphons off waste and helps immune cells slosh into place. The two systems complement each other, but in some tissues they’re difficult to spot and in bones, the lymphatic system has remained elusive. Here, using gentle pattens of lasers, light-sheet microscopy allows researchers to peek inside this mouse’s knee joint, and pinpoint the lymph vessels (highlighted in blue) in the surrounding bone (purple). The team find that certain types of stress cause lymphangiogenesis –a growth which expands the lymphatic system’s support for healing bones that's often dulled in old age. Researchers hope targeting the genes and proteins involved may help the lymph to continue guiding bone regeneration in older human limbs.
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