Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Extracellular vesicle-mediated bone metabolism in the bone microenvironment

  • Qi LiEmail author
  • Qiu-Ping Huang
  • Yi-Lin Wang
  • Qing-Sheng Huang
Review Article


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are phospholipid membrane-enclosed entities containing specific proteins, RNA, miRNA, and lncRNA. EVs are released by various cells and play a vital role in cell communication by transferring their contents from the host cells to the recipient cells. The role of EVs has been characterized in a wide range of physiological and pathophysiological processes. In this context, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the regulatory effects of EVs, with a focus on bone metabolism and the bone microenvironment. The roles of EVs in cell communication among bone-related cells, stem cells, tumor cells, and other cells under physiological or pathological conditions are also discussed. In addition, promising applications for EVs in treating bone-related diseases are proposed.


Extracellular vesicles Exosomes Osteoblasts Osteoclasts Bone metastasis 



We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC; Grant No. 81502465).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Bone and Mineral Research and Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Qiu-Ping Huang
    • 1
  • Yi-Lin Wang
    • 1
  • Qing-Sheng Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Space Bioscience and Space Biotechnology, School of Life SciencesNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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