How is mechanobiology involved in mesenchymal stem cell differentiation toward the osteoblastic or adipogenic fate?

Dafna Benayahu, Yarden Wiesenfeld, Rony Sapir-Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Mechanobiology plays a major role in transducing physical cues from the dynamic cellular environment into biochemical modifications that promote cell-specific differentiation paths. Mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow or in other mesenchymal tissues will differentiate according to the expression of transcription factors (TFs) that govern their lineage commitment. The favoring of either osteogenic or adipogenic differentiation relies on TF expression as well as mechanical properties of the cells' niche that are translated into the activation of certain signaling pathways. Physical factors can induce significant shifts in bipotential lineage commitment between osteogenesis and adipogenesis. The stiffness of the extracellular matrix (ECM) surrounding a cell, varying greatly from rigid environments close to the bone surface to softer regions in the bone marrow, can influence the path of differentiation. Additionally, mechanical loading through exercise appears to favor osteogenesis whereas disuse conditions seem to promote adipogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12133-12141
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Volume234
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2019

Keywords

  • ECM
  • cell niche
  • mesenchymal cells
  • stiffness

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