Microvascular organization at the epiphyseal-metaphyseal junction of growing rats
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The microarchitecture of the rat metaphyseal nutrient artery, the major blood supply to the calcifying epiphyseal growth plate, was studied by light microscopic serial sections, model reconstruction of serial sections, and scanning electron microscopy of plastic corrosion castings. These techniques illustrate how the metaphyseal artery undergoes extensive arborization and anastomosis upon route through the metaphysis. From this vascular network, closed capillary sprouts abut hypertrophic chondrocytes bordered by scaffolds of mineralized matrix.
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