Current Osteoporosis Reports

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 157–168 | Cite as

Investigating Osteocytic Perilacunar/Canalicular Remodeling

  • Cristal S. Yee
  • Charles A. Schurman
  • Carter R. White
  • Tamara AllistonEmail author
Skeletal Biology and Regulation (M Forwood and A Robling, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Skeletal Biology and Regulation


Purpose of Review

In perilacunar/canalicular remodeling (PLR), osteocytes dynamically resorb, and then replace, the organic and mineral components of the pericellular extracellular matrix. Given the enormous surface area of the osteocyte lacuna-canalicular network (LCN), PLR is important for maintaining homeostasis of the skeleton. The goal of this review is to examine the motivations and critical considerations for the analysis of PLR, in both in vitro and in vivo systems.

Recent Findings

Morphological approaches alone are insufficient to elucidate the complex mechanisms regulating PLR in the healthy skeleton and in disease. Understanding the role and regulation of PLR will require the incorporation of standardized PLR outcomes as a routine part of skeletal phenotyping, as well as the development of improved molecular and cellular outcomes. Current PLR outcomes assess PLR enzyme expression, the LCN, and bone matrix composition and organization, among others.


Here, we discuss current PLR outcomes and how they have been applied to study PLR induction and suppression in vitro and in vivo. Given the role of PLR in skeletal health and disease, integrated analysis of PLR has potential to elucidate new mechanisms by which osteocytes participate in skeletal health and disease.


Osteocyte Perilacunar/canalicular remodeling Lacuna-canalicular network 



Funding that supported this project was provided by NIH R01 DE019284, NIH R21 AR070403, NSF 1636331, DOD OR170044, and the Read Research Foundation to TA.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristal S. Yee
    • 1
  • Charles A. Schurman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carter R. White
    • 1
  • Tamara Alliston
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.UC Berkeley/UCSF Graduate Program in BioengineeringSan FranciscoUSA

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