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Mechanical Regulation of Skeletal Development
Development of the various components of a normal skeleton requires highly regulated signalling systems that co-ordinate spatial and temporal patterns of cell division, cell differentiation and morphogenesis. Much work in recent decades has revealed cascades of molecular signalling, acting through key transcription factors to regulate, for example, organised chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation. It is now clear that mechanical stimuli are also required for aspects of skeletogenesis but very little is known about how the mechanical signals are integrated with classic biochemical signalling. Spatially organised differentiation is vital to the production of functionally appropriate tissues contributing to precise, region specific morphologies, for example transient chondrogenesis of long bone skeletal rudiments, which prefigures osteogenic replacement of the cartilage template, compared to the production of permanent cartilage at the sites of articulation. Currently a lack of understanding of how these tissues are differentially regulated hampers efforts to specifically regenerate stable bone and cartilage. Here we review current research revealing the influence of mechanical stimuli on specific aspects of skeletal development and refer to other developing systems to set the scene for current and future work to uncover the molecular mechanisms involved. We integrate this with a brief overview of the effects of mechanical stimulation on stem cells in culture bringing together developmental and tissue engineering aspects of mechanoregulation of cell behaviour. A better understand of the molecular mechanisms that link mechanical stimuli to transcriptional control guiding cell differentiation will lead to new ideas about how to effectively prime stem cells for tissue engineering and regenerative therapies.
Keyword(s): Developmental biology; Skeletal development; Mechanoregulation; Mechanical stimulation; Bone; Ossification; Chondrogenesis; Articular cartilage; Regenerative therapies; Mechanotransduction
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Citation(s): Rolfe, R., Roddy, K. & Murphy, P., Mechanical Regulation of Skeletal Development, Current Osteoporosis Reports, 11, 2, 2013, 107 - 116
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First Indexed: 2020-03-20 06:22:02 Last Updated: 2020-03-20 06:22:02