, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 1027-1031,
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Date: 02 Apr 2009

The role of osteocytes in bone mechanotransduction

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Introduction

Bones are subjected to a variety of mechanical loads during daily activities. In the nineteenth century, Julius Wolff proposed that bones adapt their mass and 3D structure to the loading conditions in order to optimize their load-bearing capacity, and that this process is driven by mechanical stress [1]. For the past centuries, an increasing number of theoretical and experimental results reveal that osteocytes are the pivotal cells orchestrating this biomechanical regulation of bone mass and structure, which is accomplished by the process of bone remodeling [25]

Osteocytes are terminally differentiated cells of the osteogenic lineage that are derived from mesenchymal precursor cells. A number of molecules have been identified as important markers of osteocytes, such as matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein [6] sclerostin [7], dentin matrix protein-1 [8], and phex protein [8]. The osteocytes are the most abundant cells in adult bone and are constantly spaced throughout th ...

Data presented at the Third Meeting on Bone Quality, France, 24–25 June 2008: Bone Ultrastructure.