Purpose of review: Osteocytes are the main mechanosensitive cells in bone. Integrin-based adhesions have been shown to facilitate mechanotransduction, and therefore play an important role in load-induced bone formation. This review outlines the role of integrins in osteocyte function (cell adhesion, signalling, and mechanotransduction) and possible role in disease.
Recent findings: Both β1 and β3 integrins subunits have been shown to be required for osteocyte mechanotransduction. Antagonism of these integrin subunits in osteocytes resulted in impaired responses to fluid shear stress. Various disease states (osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, bone metastases) have been shown to result in altered integrin expression and function. Osteocyte integrins are required for normal cell function, with dysregulation of integrins seen in disease. Understanding the mechanism of faulty integrins in disease may aid in the creation of novel therapeutic approaches.
Keywords: Bone metastasis; Integrin; Mechanotransduction; Osteoarthritis; Osteocyte; Osteoporosis.