Bone Vascular and Microcirculation Laboratory
Rhonda D. Prisby, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering
817 272-6786 (office)
817 272-2658 (lab)
Life Science Building
About The Lab
The Bone Vascular and Microcirculation Laboratory is focused on examining the interaction between blood vessels and bone in states of health and disease.
Recent evidence suggests a link between cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. In addition, the vascular supply is critical for proper bone healing following fracture and bone blood vessels participate in a variety of physiological processes in the bone marrow. However, little is known about how blood vessels in bone contributes to bone health and disease. In order to assess the integrative nature between both systems, we investigate the interaction between blood vessels and bone via several in vivo and in vitro techniques.
Utilizing a variety of experimental models (e.g., intermittent parathyroid hormone administration, bone marrow ablation, advancing age, etc), we assess how bone changes in accordance with altered vascular function. To examine the microcirculatory (i.e., arterioles and arteries) function of bone, we utilize the in vitro, isolated microvessel technique to decipher vasodilator and vasoconstrictor mechanisms. Further, skeletal perfusion and blood vessel density and morphology of bone is assessed via the injection of fluorescent microspheres, and contrast medium and resin, respectively, into the vascular system. To examine bone properties in accordance with vascular parameters following an intervention, we evaluate bone microarchitecture (e.g., bone volume) with microcomputed tomography (µCT) and utilized bone histomorphometry to assess bone static and dynamic properties (i.e., osteoblast and osteoclast activity).
|American Heart Association
|National Science Foundation
|National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences
|Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) on Cardiovascular Health
|National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
|Research Foundation Strategic Initiative Grant|
|Innovative Research Grant|
The Bone Vascular & Microcirculatory Society
The Bone Vascular & Microcirculatory Society provides a platform where experimental scientists, clinicians and physicians can communicate and collaborate on issues related to the vascular function of bone. Learn more at the Society's Website.
Darlene Ngwenya, B.S.
Research Scientist Assistant I
Ms. Ngwenya is originally from Atlanta, GA and earned her B.S. in Biochemistry from Oakwood University, where she worked as a laboratory assistant for the Department of Chemistry.
Seungyong Lee, M.S.
Dissertation Project: Examination of bone marrow blood vessel ossification, blood vessel density and spatial location in relation to matrix-metalloproteinase-9 and bone microarchitecture and bone static and dynamic properties following short-term (5 and 10 days) intermittent parathyroid hormone administration in a murine model.
David Lee, M.S.
Dissertation Project: To be determined.
Sunggi Noh, M.S.
Dissertation Project: To be determined.
Joining the Lab
The Bone Vascular and Microcirculation Laboratory in the Kinesiology Department at the University of Texas at Arlington welcomes motivated graduate students who are interested in the research in our lab. Students in the laboratory learn integrative vascular and skeletal biology and work with animal models. Prior basic science lab experience is preferred but not required. If interested, please contact Dr. Rhonda Prisby at email@example.com for more information.
Techniques and Methodologies
The in vitro, isolated microvessel technique
Vasodilation of the femoral principal nutrient artery (PNA) to acetylcholine
Vasoconstriction of the femoral principal nutrient artery (PNA) to potassium chloride
Perfusion of the vascular system with an epoxy resin
The vascular system was perfused with an epoxy resin to assess blood vessel density and location within the bone. The femur was made transparent for easy visualization of the blood vessels.
Bone Marrow Blood Vessel Ossification
Ossified Bone Marrow Blood Vessels
Recently, our lab discovered that blood vessels inside the bone marrow progressively convert into bone tissue with advancing age. The corresponding image illustrates ossified bone marrow blood vessels taken from the femoral shaft of an old rat.
Microcomputed Tomography (µCT)
of Ossified Bone Marrow Blood Vessels
The volume of ossified bone marrow blood vessels in the femoral shaft can be quantified via µCT (Prisby, Bone. 2014 Jul;64:195-203. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2014.03.041). The image illustrates ossified bone marrow blood vessels in the femur of an old rat.
µCT Imaging of a Rat Tibia
Additionally, bone microarchitecture (i.e., bone volume, trabecular number, trabecular thickness and trabecular separation) is measured via µCT.
Goldner’s Trichrome stained-bone section of a rat distal femur. By using bone histormorphemetry, bone microarchitecture (e.g., bone volume) and bone static parameters as related to osteoblast and osteoclast activity can be determined..
Blood Vessels Inside the Femoral Shaft
of a Rat Following Bone Marrow Ablation
Goldner’s Trichrome stained-bone section of a rat femoral shaft following bone marrow ablation. The vascular system was perfused with barium sulfate so that blood vessels inside the bone could be visualized and quantified.
Inside the Lab