Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 236–253 | Cite as

Adipocyte differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells: Cross talk with the osteoblastogenic program

  • S. Muruganandan
  • A. A. Roman
  • C. J. SinalEmail author
Review Article


Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells, which among other cell lineages, give rise to adipocytes and osteoblasts. Within the bone marrow, the differentiation of MSCs into adipocytes or osteoblasts is competitively balanced; mechanisms that promote one cell fate actively suppress mechanisms that induce the alternative lineage. This occurs through the cross talk between complex signaling pathways including those derived from bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs), winglesstype MMTV integration site (Wnt) proteins, hedgehogs, delta/jagged proteins, fibroblastic growth factors (FGF), insulin, insulin-like growth factors (IGF), and transcriptional regulators of adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) and runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2). Here, we discuss the molecular regulation of bone marrow adipogenesis with emphasis on signals that interact with osteoblastogenic pathways and highlight the possible therapeutic implications of these interactions.


Adipocyte bone bone morphogenic proteins differentiation mesenchymal stem cell osteoblast peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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