Aetiology and consequences of vascular ageing in the skeletal system

Year of award: 2016


  • Dr Saravana Ramasamy

    Imperial College London

Project summary

Ageing is associated with a loss of bone density. This increases the risk of fractures and poor fracture repair, and other musculoskeletal disorders. Understanding the regulation of bone turnover to re-establish bone formation may lead to new strategies to treat bone loss and associated bone disorders. 

Blood vessels – collectively referred to as the vasculature – supply bone with oxygen and nutrients and provide cell surface or secreted signals that regulate skeletal tissue. Age-related changes in bone are associated with changes in the bone vasculature, but it is still largely unknown which physiological factors regulate these changes. 

My study will show blood flow to bone as a critical factor controlling blood vessel growth. The project aims to gain insights into the relationship between blood flow and the bone microenvironment using mice as a model system. I will use a combination of advanced high-resolution imaging, live animal imaging, mouse genetics and transcriptome analysis. The study has the potential to unravel key mechanisms behind bone ageing and identify novel therapeutic strategies for managing age-related bone and blood diseases.