The osteocyte, once thought to be a passive resident of the bone given the backstage function of sensing mechanical loading, is now brought to the spotlight and has been shown to have multiple major functions like actively modifying the extracellular matrix and forming an endocrine organ with the lacunocanalicular system that encloses it sending messages to distant sites. Owing to the methods that made it possible to test the osteocyte in vitro from isolating primary osteocytes to osteocyte-like cell lines, osteocytes are now experiencing a resounding interest and a surge of knowledge on structure and function. Many aspects of the osteocyte biology and interaction with other molecular components are yet to be discovered. In this protocol, we describe in detail the efficient isolation of primary osteocytes from dmp1-topaz neonatal mouse calvaria, which express the green fluorescent protein in osteocytes, through cell fractionation and subsequently acquiring cultures of primary osteocytes by FACS.
- Issue 160
- Primary osteocyte