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Three-dimensional arrangement of human bone marrow microvessels revealed by immunohistology in undecalcified sections

The arrangement of microvessels in human bone marrow is so far unknown. We combined monoclonal antibodies against CD34 and against CD141 to visualise all microvessel endothelia in 21 serial sections of about 1 cm2 size derived from a human iliac crest. The specimen was not decalcified and embedded in Technovit® 9100. In different regions of interest, the microvasculature was reconstructed in three dimensions using automatic methods. The three-dimensional models were subject to a rigid semiautomatic and manual quality control. In iliac crest bone marrow, the adipose tissue harbours irregularly distributed haematopoietic areas. These are fed by networks of large sinuses, which are loosely connected to networks of small capillaries prevailing in areas of pure adipose tissue. Our findings are compatible with the hypothesis that capillaries and sinuses in human iliac crest bone marrow are partially arranged in parallel.

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