Priscilla C. Aveline, Julie I.
Bone remodeling is a physiological process determined by the sequential and coordinated interaction of osteocytes, osteoclasts, osteoblasts and angiogenesis. During bone repair, osteoblastic cells, originated from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), are highly regulated to proliferate and to produce an osteogenic matrix, thus forming a new bone. MSCs are multipotential and undifferentiated cells that are present in the adult bone marrow. They serve in vitro and in vivo as precursors for bone marrow stroma, bone, fat, cartilage, muscle (smooth, cardiac and skeletal) and neural cells. MSCs are usually isolated from adult bone marrow but can also be isolated from several other tissues, such as fetal liver, adult circulating blood, umbilical cord blood, placenta or adipose tissue. In the bone marrow, MSCs give rise to mesenchymal cells residing in the bone (osteogenic, chondrogenic and adipogenic cells) and also support hematopoiesis. Therefore, MSCs regulate both osteogenesis and hematopoiesis, and they are responsible in part for the regenerative capacity of bone tissue. Acquisition of such a phenotype may be also regarded through the modification of the ionic channel expression. This review highlights current status and progresses in the differentiation MSCs along the osteoblastic/osteocytic pathways and the ionic channel expression and evolution during this differentiation.