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Keywords:

  • cultured mesenchymal stem cells;
  • native mesenchymal stem cells;
  • skeletal stem cells;
  • endothelial progenitors;
  • osteoblasts;
  • vasculogenesis;
  • bone healing

Abstract

  • • 
    Introduction
  • • 
    Mesenchymal stem cells as skeletal stem cells
    • - 
      Cultured or expanded MSCs
    • - 
      Native MSCs
    • - 
      The neural crest origin of MSCs
  • • 
    Vascularization by endothelial progenitor cells as prerequisite process before bone repair
    • - 
      Vascularization and bone healing
    • - 
      Endothelial progenitor cells
  • • 
    Conclusion

After bone injuries, several molecular mechanisms establish bone repair from stem/progenitor cells. Inflammation factors attract regenerative cells which expand and differentiate in order to build up a bone highly similar to that before injury. Bone marrow (BM) mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as skeletal stem cells and endothelial progenitors (EPCs) are at the origin of such reparation mechanisms. However, discrepancies exist about their identities. Although cultured MSCs are extensively described, their in vivo native forms are poorly known. In addition, recent experiments show that several types of EPC exist. We therefore review up-to-date data on the characterization of such stem/progenitor cells and propose a new point of view of their function in bone regeneration.