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FEBS Lett. 2004 Feb 13;559(1-3):6-12.

Emerging neuroskeletal signalling pathways: a review.

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  • 1Biomedical Tissue Research, Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5YW, UK.


Recent work has demonstrated that neurotransmitters, signalling molecules primarily associated with the nervous system, can have profound effects on the skeleton. Bone cells express a broad range of neurotransmitter receptors and transporters, and respond to receptor activation by initiating diverse intracellular signalling pathways, which modulate cellular function. Evidence of neuronal innervation in skeletal tissues, neurotransmitter release directly from bone cells and functional effects of pharmacological manipulation support the existence of a complex and functionally significant neurotransmitter-mediated signalling network in bone. This review aims to concisely summarise our current understanding of how neurotransmitters affect the skeletal system, focusing on their origin, cellular targets and functional effects in bone.

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