Next Article in Journal
A Pilot Study of Stress System Activation in Children Enrolled in a Targeted Prevention Program: Implications for Personalization
Previous Article in Journal
Aging Donor-Derived Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Exhibit Reduced Reactive Oxygen Species Loads and Increased Differentiation Potential Following Serial Expansion on a PEG-PCL Copolymer Substrate
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 360;

Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Cell Fate Decision to Osteoblast or Adipocyte and Application in Osteoporosis Treatment

Laboratory for Bone Metabolism, Key Laboratory for Space Biosciences and Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, China
School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Full-Text   |   PDF [997 KB, uploaded 25 January 2018]   |  


Osteoporosis is a progressive skeletal disease characterized by decreased bone mass and degraded bone microstructure, which leads to increased bone fragility and risks of bone fracture. Osteoporosis is generally age related and has become a major disease of the world. Uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying osteoporosis and developing effective prevention and therapy methods has great significance for human health. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells capable of differentiating into osteoblasts, adipocytes, or chondrocytes, and have become the favorite source of cell-based therapy. Evidence shows that during osteoporosis, a shift of the cell differentiation of MSCs to adipocytes rather than osteoblasts partly contributes to osteoporosis. Thus, uncovering the molecular mechanisms of the osteoblast or adipocyte differentiation of MSCs will provide more understanding of MSCs and perhaps new methods of osteoporosis treatment. The MSCs have been applied to both preclinical and clinical studies in osteoporosis treatment. Here, we review the recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating osteoblast differentiation and adipocyte differentiation of MSCs and highlight the therapeutic application studies of MSCs in osteoporosis treatment. This will provide researchers with new insights into the development and treatment of osteoporosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: osteoporosis; mesenchymal stem cell; osteoblast; adipocyte; cell therapy osteoporosis; mesenchymal stem cell; osteoblast; adipocyte; cell therapy

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hu, L.; Yin, C.; Zhao, F.; Ali, A.; Ma, J.; Qian, A. Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Cell Fate Decision to Osteoblast or Adipocyte and Application in Osteoporosis Treatment. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 360.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top