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Abstract

An isolation method for osteocytes is described. After removal of the periostea, bone cells were isolated from calvariae of 18-day-old chicken embryos by alternating treatments with collagenase and EDTA. Osteocytes were purified from the heterogeneous bone cell population with the help of the osteocyte-specific MAb OB 7.3 bound to protein G-conjugated magnetic beads. The purity of the osteocyte population ultimately obtained was more than 95%. Osteocytes were found to adhere rapidly to glass or plastic substrates. They showed numerous processes of various types. These processes could branch and make contact with those of other osteocytes. After 1–2 days of culture, the isolated osteocytes formed a network of apparently interconnected cell processes very similar to the osteocyte network in bone.