Original Paper

Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 201-212

First online:

Primary Cilia-Mediated Mechanotransduction in Bone

  • Kristen L. LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University
  • , David A. HoeyAffiliated withDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia UniversityDepartment of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • , Christopher R. JacobsAffiliated withDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University Email author 

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Mechanotransduction is a process in which cells sense applied mechanical stimulus and convert these forces into biochemical responses. This process regulates skeletal homeostasis, organization, and development, although the cellular mechanism that is responsible for mechanotransduction in bone is currently unknown. One candidate mechanosensor is the primary cilium, a single immotile organelle that extends from the surface of bone cells. The inhibition of primary cilia formation or associated components leads to reduced expression of mechanosensitive osteogenic genes, impaired osteoblastic differentiation, and skeletal phenotype irregularities. In this review, we discuss growing evidence supporting primary cilia as mediators of mechanically regulated skeletal homeostasis and development.


Bone Primary cilia Mechanotransduction Mechanosensor