Identification and characterization of an injury-induced skeletal progenitor

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Aug 11;112(32):9920-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1513066112. Epub 2015 Jul 27.


The postnatal skeleton undergoes growth, remodeling, and repair. We hypothesized that skeletal progenitor cells active during these disparate phases are genetically and phenotypically distinct. We identified a highly potent regenerative cell type that we term the fracture-induced bone, cartilage, stromal progenitor (f-BCSP) in the fracture callus of adult mice. The f-BCSP possesses significantly enhanced skeletogenic potential compared with BCSPs harvested from uninjured bone. It also recapitulates many gene expression patterns involved in perinatal skeletogenesis. Our results indicate that the skeletal progenitor population is functionally stratified, containing distinct subsets responsible for growth, regeneration, and repair. Furthermore, our findings suggest that injury-induced changes to the skeletal stem and progenitor microenvironments could activate these cells and enhance their regenerative potential.

Keywords: fracture healing; injury activation; osteogenesis; regeneration; skeletal stem/progenitor cell.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Bone Development
  • Bone and Bones / pathology*
  • Bony Callus / cytology
  • Cartilage / pathology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Separation
  • Femur / pathology
  • Fractures, Bone / pathology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Hindlimb / radiation effects
  • Integrin alpha6 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Osteogenesis
  • Phenotype
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stromal Cells / cytology


  • Integrin alpha6