Adipogenesis and osteoblastogenesis: trans-differentiation in the pathophysiology of bone disorders

Hippokratia 2011; 15(1):18-21

Ch. Savopoulos, Ch. Dokos, G. Kaiafa, A. Hatzitolios


Mesechymal stem cells as pluripotent cells are involved in the differentiation of adipocytes under regulation of genes and transcription factors. The plasticity observed between adipocytes and osteoblasts differentiation is the basis of transdifferentiation, observed in both experimental and clinical level. This review analyzes not only the adipose tissue as an endocrine organ but also the underlying mechanism of trans-differentiation between adipocytes and osteoblasts. Fat and bone tissue interaction is altered by activation or silencing of genes, signaling molecules and transcription factors. Disorders of this interaction include ectopic ossification syndromes and other bone disorders like osteoporosis and multiple myeloma. Further research will reveal the instinct mechanisms of this imbalance in the pathophysiology of many metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, atherogenesis e.t.c.