Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) is a key mediator of osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption. Osteoblast-lineage cells including osteoblasts and osteocytes express RANKL, which is regulated by several different factors, including hormones, cytokines, and mechanical forces. In vivo and in vitro analyses have demonstrated that various types of mechanosensing proteins on the cell membrane (i.e. mechanosensors) and intracellular mechanosignaling proteins play essential roles in the differentiation and functions of osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes via soluble factors, such as sclerostin, Wnt ligands, and RANKL. This section provides an overview of the in vivo and in vitro evidence for the regulation of RANKL expression by mechanosensing and mechanotransduction.
Keywords: Mechanosensing; Mechanotransduction; Osteoblast; Osteoclast; Osteocyte.