Theranostics 2020; 10(11):4839-4850. doi:10.7150/thno.43771 This issue


The neural system regulates bone homeostasis via mesenchymal stem cells: a translational approach

Xu-Dong Wang1*, Si-Yi Li1*, Shi-Jian Zhang1, Anand Gupta2, Chen-Ping Zhang1✉, Lei Wang1✉

1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial-Head & Neck Oncology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, College of Stomatology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine; National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases; Shanghai Key Laboratory of Stomatology & Shanghai Research Institute of Stomatology, Shanghai, China
2. Department of Dentistry, Government Medical College & Hospital, Chandigarh, India
*Contributed equally

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Wang XD, Li SY, Zhang SJ, Gupta A, Zhang CP, Wang L. The neural system regulates bone homeostasis via mesenchymal stem cells: a translational approach. Theranostics 2020; 10(11):4839-4850. doi:10.7150/thno.43771. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Large bone reconstruction is a major clinical issue associated with several challenges, and autograft is the main method for reconstructing large defects of maxillofacial bone. However, postoperative osteoporosis of the bone graft, even with sufficient vascularization, remains a primary problem. Therefore, better understanding of the mechanisms and clinical translation of bone homeostasis is required. Neuronal innervation of the bone is an emerging research topic, especially with regards to the role of peripheral nerves in regulating bone homeostasis. Moreover, sensory and autonomic nerves regulate this process via different types of neurotransmitters, but the specific mechanism is still elusive. In this review article, the current understanding of the interaction between the peripheral nerve and the skeleton system is summarized, with a particular focus on bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs), except for osteoblasts and osteoclasts. The novel application of nerve-based bone regeneration via BMMSCs may provide a new strategy in tissue engineering and clinical treatment of osteoporosis and bone disorders.

Keywords: bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell, bone homeostasis, peripheral nerves, bone regeneration, bone graft