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Annu Rev Immunol. 2007;25:51-69.

The multiple roles of osteoclasts in host defense: bone remodeling and hematopoietic stem cell mobilization.

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Department of Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Bone remodeling by bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts dynamically alters the bone inner wall and the endosteum region, which harbors osteoblastic niches for hematopoietic stem cells. Investigators have recently elucidated mechanisms of recruitment and mobilization; these mechanisms consist of stress signals that drive migration of leukocytes and progenitor cells from the bone marrow reservoir to the circulation and drive their homing to injured tissues as part of host defense and repair. The physical bone marrow vasculature barrier that is crossed by mobilized cells actively transmits chemotactic signals between the blood and the bone marrow, facilitating organ communication and cell trafficking. Osteoclasts play a dual role in regulation of bone resorption and homeostatic release or stress-induced mobilization of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. In this review, we discuss the orchestrated interplay between bone remodeling, the immune system, and the endosteal stem cell niches in the context of stem cell proliferation and migration during homeostasis, which are accelerated during alarm situations.

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