Osteoimmunology: interactions of the bone and immune system

Endocr Rev. 2008 Jun;29(4):403-40. doi: 10.1210/er.2007-0038. Epub 2008 May 1.


Bone and the immune system are both complex tissues that respectively regulate the skeleton and the body's response to invading pathogens. It has now become clear that these organ systems often interact in their function. This is particularly true for the development of immune cells in the bone marrow and for the function of bone cells in health and disease. Because these two disciplines developed independently, investigators in each don't always fully appreciate the significance that the other system has on the function of the tissue they are studying. This review is meant to provide a broad overview of the many ways that bone and immune cells interact so that a better understanding of the role that each plays in the development and function of the other can develop. It is hoped that an appreciation of the interactions of these two organ systems will lead to better therapeutics for diseases that affect either or both.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / physiology
  • Bone Remodeling / immunology
  • Bone Remodeling / physiology
  • Bone and Bones / physiology*
  • Cell Communication / immunology*
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology*
  • Megakaryocytes / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Osteoblasts / physiology
  • Osteoclasts / physiology
  • Stem Cells / physiology


  • Cytokines