Osteogenesis and aging: lessons from mesenchymal stem cells

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2018 Sep 26;9(1):244. doi: 10.1186/s13287-018-0995-x.


Aging is a high risk factor for the development of osteoporosis, a multifactorial age-related progressive disease characterized by reduced bone mass and increased risk of fractures. At the cellular level, the mesenchymal stem cell pool in the bone marrow niche shows a biased differentiation into adipogenesis at the cost of osteogenesis. This differentiation shift leads to decreased bone formation, contributing to the etiology of osteoporosis. This review will focus on the most recent/relevant molecular findings driving this functional impairment of mesenchymal stem cells in the aging process.

Keywords: Aging; Differentiation shift; Mesenchymal stem cells; Osteogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis / genetics
  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / pathology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Osteogenesis / genetics*
  • Stem Cell Niche / genetics