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Front. Cell Dev. Biol. | doi: 10.3389/fcell.2018.00170

Wnt pathway in bone repair and regeneration – What do we know so far

 Khosrow Houschyar1*, Christian Tapking2, Daniel Popp3, Dominik Duscher4, Zeshaan N. Maan5, Malcolm P. Chelliah5, Mimi Borrelli5, Jingtao Li6,  Kamran Harati1,  Christoph Wallner1, Susanne Rein7, Dominik Pförringer4, Georg Reumuth8, Gerrit Grieb9, Sylvain Mouraret10, Mehran Dadras11, Johannes Wagner11, Jungul Cha12, Frank Siemers8, Marcus Lehnhardt1 and  Björn Behr11
  • 1Berufsgenossenschaftliches Universitätsklinikum, Germany
  • 2The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, United States
  • 3Texas A&M University at Galveston, United States
  • 4Technische Universität München, Germany
  • 5Stanford University, United States
  • 6Sichuan University, China
  • 7Leipzig University, Germany
  • 8Berufsgenossenschaftliche Kliniken Bergmannstrost Halle, Germany
  • 9Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Havelhöhe, Germany
  • 10Paris Diderot University, France
  • 11BG University Hospital Bergmannsheil GmbH, Germany
  • 12Yonsei University, South Korea

Wnt signaling plays a central regulatory role across a remarkably diverse range of functions during embryonic development, including those involved in the formation of bone and cartilage. Wnt signaling continues to play a critical role in adult osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. Disruptions in this highly-conserved and complex system leads to various pathological conditions, including impaired bone healing, autoimmune diseases and malignant degeneration. For reconstructive surgeons, critically sized skeletal defects represent a major challenge. These are frequently associated with significant morbidity in both the recipient and donor sites. The Wnt pathway is an attractive therapeutic target with the potential to directly modulate stem cells responsible for skeletal tissue regeneration and promote bone growth, suggesting that Wnt factors could be used to stimulate bone healing after trauma. This review summarizes our current understanding of the essential role of the Wnt pathway in bone regeneration and repair.

Keywords: Wnt, ß-catenin, Canonical, non-canonical, Regeneration, repair, Stem Cells, Bone

Received: 05 Sep 2018; Accepted: 30 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Darius Widera, University of Reading, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Gianpaolo Papaccio, Università degli Studi della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli" Naples, Italy
Aaron W. James, Johns Hopkins University, United States
Claudio Cantù, Linköping University, Sweden  

Copyright: © 2018 Houschyar, Tapking, Popp, Duscher, Maan, Chelliah, Borrelli, Li, Harati, Wallner, Rein, Pförringer, Reumuth, Grieb, Mouraret, Dadras, Wagner, Cha, Siemers, Lehnhardt and Behr. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Khosrow Houschyar, Berufsgenossenschaftliches Universitätsklinikum, Bergmannsheil, 44789, Germany,