Detection of Hypoxic Regions in the Bone Microenvironment.
Oxygen serves as a critical environmental factor essential for maintaining the physiological state of a tissue. Hypoxia, or low oxygen, triggers a cascade of events which allows for cells to adapt to low oxygen tensions and to facilitate oxygen delivery required to maintain tissue homeostasis. In the bone microenvironment (BME), vascular heterogeneity, poor perfusion rates of blood vessels, and high metabolic activity of hematopoietic cells result in the generation of a unique hypoxic landscape. Importantly, in this region, hypoxia and its downstream effectors are associated with establishing stem cell niches and regulating the differentiation of committed progenitors. Given the functional importance of the hypoxic bone niche, visualizing regions of hypoxia may provide valuable insights into the mechanisms that regulate tissue homeostasis. Here, we describe the utilization of the nitroimidazole derivative, pimonidazole, to detect hypoxic regions within the BME.
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