Wnt pathway, an essential role in bone regeneration.
Fracture repair is a complex regenerative process initiated in response to injury, resulting in optimal restoration of skeletal function. Although histology characteristics at various phases of fracture repair are clear and well established, much remains to be understood about the process of bone healing, particularly at the molecular signaling level. During the past decade, secreted signaling molecules of the Wnt family have been widely investigated and found to play a central role in controlling embryonic development processes. Wnt signaling pathway also plays a pivotal role in the regulation of bone mass. Recent published data reveal that Wnt signaling pathway is activated during postnatal bone regenerative events, such as ectopic endochondral bone formation and fracture repair. Dysregulation of this pathway greatly inhibits bone formation and healing process. Interestingly, activation of Wnt pathway has potential to improve bone healing, but only utilized after mesenchymal cells have become committed to the osteoblast lineage. These advances suggest an essential role of Wnt pathway in bone regeneration.
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