Concise Review: Embryonic Stem Cells: A New Tool to Study Osteoblast and Osteoclast Differentiation

Authors

  • Laurence Duplomb Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoire de Physiopathologie de la Résorption Osseuse et Thérapie des Tumeurs Osseuses Primitives, INSERM, ERI 7, Nantes, France
    2. Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Universités, Laboratoire de Physiopathologie de la Résorption Osseuse et Thérapie des Tumeurs Osseuses Primitives, EA3822, Nantes, France
    • INSERM, ERI 7 Laboratoire de Physiopathologie de la Résorption Osseuse et Thérapie des Tumeurs Osseuses Primitives, EA3822, 1 rue Gaston Veil, 44035 Nantes Cedex 1. Telephone: 011-33-2-40-41-28-46; Fax: 011-33-2-40-41-28-60
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  • Maylis Dagouassat,

    1. INSERM U533, Institut du Thorax, Nantes, France
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  • Philippe Jourdon,

    1. INSERM U533, Institut du Thorax, Nantes, France
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  • Dominique Heymann

    1. Laboratoire de Physiopathologie de la Résorption Osseuse et Thérapie des Tumeurs Osseuses Primitives, INSERM, ERI 7, Nantes, France
    2. Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Universités, Laboratoire de Physiopathologie de la Résorption Osseuse et Thérapie des Tumeurs Osseuses Primitives, EA3822, Nantes, France
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  • Available online through the open access option.

Abstract

Bone remodeling involves synthesis of organic matrix by osteoblasts and bone resorption by osteoclasts. A tight collaboration between these two cell types is essential to maintain a physiological bone homeostasis. Thus, osteoblasts control bone-resorbing activities and are also involved in osteoclast differentiation. Any disturbance between these effectors leads to the development of skeletal abnormalities and/or bone diseases. In this context, the determination of key genes involved in bone cell differentiation is a new challenge to treat any skeletal disorders. Different models are used to study the differentiation process of these cells, but all of them use pre-engaged progenitor cells, allowing us to study only the latest stages of the differentiation. Embryonic stem (ES) cells come from the inner mass of the blastocyst prior its implantation to the uterine wall. Because of their capacity to differentiate into all germ layers, and so into all tissues of the body, ES cells represent the best model by which to study earliest stages of bone cell differentiation. Osteoblasts are generated by two methods, one including the generation of embryoid body, the other not. Mineralizing cells are obtained after 2 weeks of culture and express all the specific osteoblastic markers (alkaline phosphatase, type I collagen, osteocalcin, and others). Osteoclasts are generated from a single-cell suspension of ES cells seeded on a feeder monolayer, and bone-resorbing cells expressing osteoclastic markers such as tartrate-resistant alkaline phosphatase or receptor activator of nuclear factor κB are obtained within 11 days. The aim of this review is to present recent discoveries and advances in the differentiation of both osteoblasts and osteoclasts from ES cells.

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