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Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2012 Sep;10(3):190-8. doi: 10.1007/s11914-012-0109-0.

Signaling pathways affecting skeletal health.

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Laboratory of osteoblast biology and pathology, INSERM, UMR-606, University Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Hopital Lariboisiere, 2 rue Ambroise Pare, 75475 Paris cedex 10, France.


Skeletal health is dependent on the balance between bone resorption and formation during bone remodeling. Multiple signaling pathways play essential roles in the maintenance of skeletal integrity by positively or negatively regulating bone cells. During the last years, significant advances have been made in our understanding of the essential signaling pathways that regulate bone cell commitment, differentiation and survival. New signaling anabolic pathways triggered by parathyroid hormone, local growth factors, Wnt signaling, and calcium sensing receptor have been identified. Novel signals induced by interactions between bone cells-matrix (integrins), osteoblasts/osteocytes (cadherins, connexins), and osteoblasts/osteoclast (ephrins, Wnt-RhoA, semaphorins) have been discovered. Recent studies revealed the key pathways (MAPK, PI3K/Akt) that critically control bone cells and skeletal mass. This review summarizes the most recent knowledge on the major signaling pathways that control bone cells, and their potential impact on the development of therapeutic strategies to improve human bone health.

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