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Special Issue "Bone Development and Regeneration"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Roman Thaler

Guest Editor
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, MN, USA
Interests: Musculoskeletal regeneration, Bone development and homeostasis, Mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, Osteoblastic differentiation, Epigenetics

Special Issue Information

Bone is a fascinating tissue conferring structural body support, mechanical integrity, and organ protection. A more holistic perspective accommodates bone as an integral organ that together with other tissues not only regulates mineral homeostasis and maintains the hematopoietic niche but also acts as an endocrine organ to contribute and regulate numerous metabolic processes that are independent of mineral metabolism.

Bone formation is orchestrated by multiple stimuli and processes and based on their embryological origin, ossification of collagenous tissues is regulated by different paths. Compared to other musculoskeletal tissues, bone has a high regenerative potential, with the skeleton being fully remodeled multiple times throughout the human lifespan. However, with a continuous extension of live expectancy, aging-related bone issues and pathologies become more prominent, which negatively impacts the quality of life of an increasing number of individuals.

While several mechanisms and pathways like the WNT, BMP2 or PTH signaling pathway have been thoroughly studied over the last few decades, new scientific capabilities and perspectives allow for a more integrative and comprehensive view on bone development and bone regeneration. With the revolutionary rise of the -omics field and the latest advances in cell lineage tracing models and single cell analysis, new molecular mechanisms are being elucidated and novel important players are being recognized. For example, our understanding of epigenetic processes or metabolites that control bone integrity is growing at a rapid pace. In concert with the progress made recently in the development and design of new scaffolds and biomaterials, all these advances generate novel and alternative approaches to target bone regeneration and are under investigation with the potential to increase the quality of life for many.

This Special Issue of IJMS provides a platform for high-quality publications elucidating novel insights on bone development and/or presenting new molecular and conceptual approaches for the manipulation of osteogenesis and bone regeneration, as well as bone homeostasis. This will generate a representative picture of the latest advances in bone research and serve as a road map for where the bone field is headed.

Dr. Roman Thaler
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • osteoblast
  • osteocyte
  • osteoclast
  • mesenchymal stem cell
  • cell differentiation
  • epigenetics
  • -omics
  • integrative analysis
  • biomaterials

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Quercetin 3-O-β-D-Galactopyranoside on the Adipogenic and Osteoblastogenic Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 8044; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21218044 (registering DOI) - 28 Oct 2020
Abstract
Natural products, especially phenols, are promising therapeutic agents with beneficial effects against aging-related complications such as osteoporosis. This study aimed to investigate the effect of quercetin 3-O-β-D-galactopyranoside (Q3G), a glycoside of a common bioactive phytochemical quercetin, on osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation [...] Read more.
Natural products, especially phenols, are promising therapeutic agents with beneficial effects against aging-related complications such as osteoporosis. This study aimed to investigate the effect of quercetin 3-O-β-D-galactopyranoside (Q3G), a glycoside of a common bioactive phytochemical quercetin, on osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (hBM-MSCs). hBM-MSCs were induced to differentiate into osteoblasts and adipocytes in the presence or absence of Q3G and the differentiation markers were analyzed to observe the effect. Q3G treatment stimulated the osteoblastogenesis markers: cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and extracellular mineralization. In addition, it upregulated the expression of RUNX2 and osteocalcin protein as osteoblastogenesis regulating transcription factors. Moreover, Q3G treatment increased the activation of osteoblastogenesis-related Wnt and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling displayed as elevated levels of phosphorylated β-catenin and Smad1/5 in nuclear fractions of osteo-induced hBM-MSCs. The presence of quercetin in adipo-induced hBM-MSC culture inhibited the adipogenic differentiation depicted as suppressed lipid accumulation and expression of adipogenesis markers such as PPARγ, SREBP1c and C/EBPα. In conclusion, Q3G supplementation stimulated osteoblast differentiation and inhibited adipocyte differentiation in hBM-MSCs via Wnt/BMP and PPARγ pathways, respectively. This study provided useful information of the therapeutic potential of Q3G against osteoporosis mediated via regulation of MSC differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Regeneration)
Open AccessArticle
No Role of Osteocytic Osteolysis in the Development and Recovery of the Bone Phenotype Induced by Severe Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in Vitamin D Receptor Deficient Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 7989; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21217989 (registering DOI) - 27 Oct 2020
Abstract
Osteocytic osteolysis/perilacunar remodeling is thought to contribute to the maintenance of mineral homeostasis. Here, we utilized a reversible, adult-onset model of secondary hyperparathyroidism to study femoral bone mineralization density distribution (BMDD) and osteocyte lacunae sections (OLS) based on quantitative backscattered electron imaging. Male [...] Read more.
Osteocytic osteolysis/perilacunar remodeling is thought to contribute to the maintenance of mineral homeostasis. Here, we utilized a reversible, adult-onset model of secondary hyperparathyroidism to study femoral bone mineralization density distribution (BMDD) and osteocyte lacunae sections (OLS) based on quantitative backscattered electron imaging. Male mice with a non-functioning vitamin D receptor (VDRΔ/Δ) or wild-type mice were exposed to a rescue diet (RD) (baseline) and subsequently to a low calcium challenge diet (CD). Thereafter, VDRΔ/Δ mice received either the CD, a normal diet (ND), or the RD. At baseline, BMDD and OLS characteristics were similar in VDRΔ/Δ and wild-type mice. The CD induced large cortical pores, osteomalacia, and a reduced epiphyseal average degree of mineralization in the VDRΔ/Δ mice relative to the baseline (−9.5%, p < 0.05 after two months and −10.3%, p < 0.01 after five months of the CD). Switching VDRΔ/Δ mice on the CD back to the RD fully restored BMDD to baseline values. However, OLS remained unchanged in all groups of mice, independent of diet. We conclude that adult VDRΔ/Δ animals on an RD lack any skeletal abnormalities, suggesting that VDR signaling is dispensable for normal bone mineralization as long as mineral homeostasis is normal. Our findings also indicate that VDRΔ/Δ mice attempt to correct a calcium challenge by enhanced osteoclastic resorption rather than by osteocytic osteolysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
18F- based Quantification of the Osteogenic Potential of hMSCs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(20), 7692; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21207692 - 17 Oct 2020
Abstract
In bone tissue engineering, there is a constant need to design new methods for promoting in vitro osteogenic differentiation. Consequently, there is a strong demand for fast, effective and reliable methods to track and quantify osteogenesis in vitro. In this study, we used [...] Read more.
In bone tissue engineering, there is a constant need to design new methods for promoting in vitro osteogenic differentiation. Consequently, there is a strong demand for fast, effective and reliable methods to track and quantify osteogenesis in vitro. In this study, we used the radiopharmacon fluorine-18 (18F) to evaluate the amount of hydroxylapatite produced by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in a monolayer cell culture in vitro. The hydroxylapatite bound tracer was evaluated using µ-positron emission tomography (µ-PET) scanning and activimeter analysis. It was therefore possible to determine the amount of synthesized mineral and thus to conclude the osteogenic potential of the cells. A Student’s t-test revealed a highly significant difference regarding tracer uptake between the osteogenic group and the corresponding control group (µ-PET p = 0.043; activimeter analysis p = 0.012). This tracer uptake showed a highly significant correlation with the gold standard of quantitative Alizarin Red staining (ARS) (r2 = 0.86) as well as with the absolute calcium content detected by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (r2 = 0.81). The results showed that 18F labeling is a novel method to prove and quantify hydroxyapatite content in MSC monolayer cultures. The mineral layer remains intact for further analysis. This non-destructive in vitro method can be used to rapidly investigate bone tissue engineering strategies in terms of hydroxylapatite production, and could therefore accelerate the process of implementing new strategies in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
Discoidin Domain Receptor 1 Regulates Runx2 during Osteogenesis of Osteoblasts and Promotes Bone Ossification via Phosphorylation of p38
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(19), 7210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197210 - 29 Sep 2020
Abstract
Discoidin domain receptor 1 (Drd1) is a collagen-binding membrane protein, but its role in osteoblasts during osteogenesis remains undefined. We generated inducible osteoblast-specific Ddr1 knockout (OKOΔDdr1) mice; their stature at birth, body weight and body length were significantly decreased [...] Read more.
Discoidin domain receptor 1 (Drd1) is a collagen-binding membrane protein, but its role in osteoblasts during osteogenesis remains undefined. We generated inducible osteoblast-specific Ddr1 knockout (OKOΔDdr1) mice; their stature at birth, body weight and body length were significantly decreased compared with those of control Ddr1f/f-4OHT mice. We hypothesize that Ddr1 regulates osteogenesis of osteoblasts. Micro-CT showed that compared to 4-week-old Ddr1f/f-4OHT mice, OKOΔDdr1 mice presented significant decreases in cancellous bone volume and trabecular number and significant increases in trabecular separation. The cortical bone volume was decreased in OKOΔDdr1 mice, resulting in decreased mechanical properties of femurs compared with those of Ddr1f/f-4OHT mice. In femurs of 4-week-old OKOΔDdr1 mice, H&E staining showed fewer osteocytes and decreased cortical bone thickness than Ddr1f/f-4OHT. Osteoblast differentiation markers, including BMP2, Runx2, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), Col-I and OC, were decreased compared with those of control mice. Ddr1 knockdown in osteoblasts resulted in decreased mineralization, ALP activity, phosphorylated p38 and protein levels of BMP2, Runx2, ALP, Col-I and OC during osteogenesis. Overexpression and knockdown of Ddr1 in osteoblasts demonstrated that DDR1 mediates the expression and activity of Runx2 and the downstream osteogenesis markers during osteogenesis through regulation of p38 phosphorylation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
Alternating Electric Fields Modify the Function of Human Osteoblasts Growing on and in the Surroundings of Titanium Electrodes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186944 - 22 Sep 2020
Abstract
Endogenous electric fields created in bone tissue as a response to mechanical loading are known to influence the activity and differentiation of bone and precursor cells. Thus, electrical stimulation offers an adjunct therapy option for the promotion of bone regeneration. Understanding the influence [...] Read more.
Endogenous electric fields created in bone tissue as a response to mechanical loading are known to influence the activity and differentiation of bone and precursor cells. Thus, electrical stimulation offers an adjunct therapy option for the promotion of bone regeneration. Understanding the influence of electric fields on bone cell function and the identification of suitable electrical stimulation parameters are crucial for the clinical success of stimulation therapy. Therefore, we investigated the impact of alternating electric fields on human osteoblasts that were seeded on titanium electrodes, which delivered the electrical stimulation. Moreover, osteoblasts were seeded on collagen-coated coverslips near the electrodes, representing the bone stock surrounding the implant. Next, 0.2 V, 1.4 V, or 2.8 V were applied to the in vitro system with 20 Hz frequency. After one, three, and seven days, the osteoblast morphology and expression of osteogenic genes were analysed. The actin organisation, as well as the proliferation, were not affected by the electrical stimulation. Changes in the gene expression and protein accumulation after electrical stimulation were voltage-dependent. After three days, the osteogenic gene expression and alkaline phosphatase activity were up to 2.35-fold higher following the electrical stimulation with 0.2 V and 1.4 V on electrodes and coverslips compared to controls. Furthermore, collagen type I mRNA, as well as the amount of the C-terminal propeptide of collagen type I were increased after the stimulation with 0.2 V and 1.4 V, while the higher electrical stimulation with 2.8 V led to decreased levels, especially on the electrodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
3D-Printed Ceramic Bone Scaffolds with Variable Pore Architectures
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6942; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186942 - 22 Sep 2020
Abstract
This study evaluated the mechanical properties and bone regeneration ability of 3D-printed pure hydroxyapatite (HA)/tricalcium phosphate (TCP) pure ceramic scaffolds with variable pore architectures. A digital light processing (DLP) 3D printer was used to construct block-type scaffolds containing only HA and TCP after [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the mechanical properties and bone regeneration ability of 3D-printed pure hydroxyapatite (HA)/tricalcium phosphate (TCP) pure ceramic scaffolds with variable pore architectures. A digital light processing (DLP) 3D printer was used to construct block-type scaffolds containing only HA and TCP after the polymer binder was completely removed by heat treatment. The compressive strength and porosity of the blocks with various structures were measured; scaffolds with different pore sizes were implanted in rabbit calvarial models. The animals were observed for eight weeks, and six animals were euthanized in the fourth and eighth weeks. Then, the specimens were evaluated using radiological and histological analyses. Larger scaffold pore sizes resulted in enhanced bone formation after four weeks (p < 0.05). However, in the eighth week, a correlation between pore size and bone formation was not observed (p > 0.05). The findings showed that various pore architectures of HA/TCP scaffolds can be achieved using DLP 3D printing, which can be a valuable tool for optimizing bone-scaffold properties for specific clinical treatments. As the pore size only influenced bone regeneration in the initial stage, further studies are required for pore-size optimization to balance the initial bone regeneration and mechanical strength of the scaffold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Nanovesicles Potentiate the Bone-Formation Efficacy of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6425; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176425 - 03 Sep 2020
Abstract
Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP-2) is one of the most potent osteogenic factors used to treat bone loss. However, at higher doses, rhBMP-2 does not necessarily increase bone formation but rather increases the incidence of adverse side effects. Here, we investigated [...] Read more.
Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP-2) is one of the most potent osteogenic factors used to treat bone loss. However, at higher doses, rhBMP-2 does not necessarily increase bone formation but rather increases the incidence of adverse side effects. Here, we investigated whether umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (UCMSC)-derived nanovesicles (NVs) further increase the in vivo bone formation at high doses of rhBMP-2. In the presence of UCMSC-derived NVs, proliferation, migration, and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells were stimulated in vitro. Furthermore, migration and osteogenesis of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells were stimulated. To examine the efficacy of UCMSC-derived NVs on in vivo bone formation, collagen sponges soaked with rhBMP-2 and UCMSC-derived NVs were used in athymic nude mice with calvarial defects. At a high rhBMP-2 dosage (500 ng/mL), UCMSC-derived NVs significantly promoted bone formation in calvarial defects; however, the UCMSC-derived NVs alone did not induce in vivo bone formation. Our results indicate that UCMSC-derived NVs can potentiate the bone formation efficacy of rhBMP-2 at a high dosage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
Bone Regeneration Capability of 3D Printed Ceramic Scaffolds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(14), 4837; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21144837 - 08 Jul 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
In this study, we evaluated the bone regenerative capability of a customizable hydroxyapatite (HA) and tricalcium phosphate (TCP) scaffold using a digital light processing (DLP)-type 3D printing system. Twelve healthy adult male beagle dogs were the study subjects. A total of 48 defects [...] Read more.
In this study, we evaluated the bone regenerative capability of a customizable hydroxyapatite (HA) and tricalcium phosphate (TCP) scaffold using a digital light processing (DLP)-type 3D printing system. Twelve healthy adult male beagle dogs were the study subjects. A total of 48 defects were created, with two defects on each side of the mandible in all the dogs. The defect sites in the negative control group (sixteen defects) were left untreated (the NS group), whereas those in the positive control group (sixteen defects) were filled with a particle-type substitute (the PS group). The defect sites in the experimental groups (sixteen defects) were filled with a 3D printed substitute (the 3DS group). Six dogs each were exterminated after healing periods of 4 and 8 weeks. Radiological and histomorphometrical evaluations were then performed. None of the groups showed any specific problems. In radiological evaluation, there was a significant difference in the amount of new bone formation after 4 weeks (p < 0.05) between the PS and 3DS groups. For both of the evaluations, the difference in the total amount of bone after 8 weeks was statistically significant (p < 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in new bone between the PS and 3DS groups in both evaluations after 8 weeks (p > 0.05). The proposed HA/TCP scaffold without polymers, obtained using the DLP-type 3D printing system, can be applied for bone regeneration. The 3D printing of a HA/TCP scaffold without polymers can be used for fabricating customized bone grafting substitutes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
Innate Biomineralization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(14), 4820; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21144820 - 08 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In vertebrates, biomineralization is a feature considered unique to mature osteoblasts and odontoblasts by which they synthesize hydroxyapatite (HAP), which is deposited in the collagen matrix to construct endoskeleton. For many decades, the mechanisms that modulate differentiation and maturation of these specialized cells [...] Read more.
In vertebrates, biomineralization is a feature considered unique to mature osteoblasts and odontoblasts by which they synthesize hydroxyapatite (HAP), which is deposited in the collagen matrix to construct endoskeleton. For many decades, the mechanisms that modulate differentiation and maturation of these specialized cells have been sought as a key to understanding bone-remodeling defects. Here, we report that biomineralization is an innate ability of all mammalian cells, irrespective of cell type or maturation stage. This innate biomineralization is triggered by the concomitant exposure of living cells to three indispensable elements: calcium ion, phosphoester salt, and alkaline phosphatase. Any given somatic cell, including undifferentiated mononuclear cells, can undergo a biomineralization process to produce calcium-phosphate agglomerates. The biologically generated minerals under such conditions are composed of genuine HAP crystallites of Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 and 5–10 nanometer (nm) in size. This discovery will profoundly improve our understanding of bone metabolism and ectopic calcifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Regeneration)
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