Module 7: Figure osteocyte mechanotransduction
A proposed osteocyte mechanotransduction mechanism.
The irregularly shaped osteocyte has long processes lying within the canalicular system containing pericellular fluid. The processes contain a core of hexagonally packed actin filaments, which have cross filaments connecting them to an integral membrane protein. The latter are connected to transverse tethering elements that are attached to the bone wall lining the canaliculi. These different elements may provide a rigid interconnected network to provide the mechanotransduction system that responds to bone deformation (see the text for further details). This figure is based on information contained in Figure 1 in Han et al. 2004, which describes the structural basis of the strain-amplification hypothesis.