Copyright ©The Author(s) 2020. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Stem Cells. May 26, 2020; 12(5): 339-350
Published online May 26, 2020. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v12.i5.339
Current and future uses of skeletal stem cells for bone regeneration
Guo-Ping Xu, Xiang-Feng Zhang, Lu Sun, Er-Man Chen
Guo-Ping Xu, Xiang-Feng Zhang, Er-Man Chen, Department of Orthopedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310000, Zhejiang Province, China
Lu Sun, Department of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, United States
Author contributions: Chen EM and Sun L contributed to this paper with conception and design of the study; Xu GP and Zhang XF wrote the paper; Chen EM and Sun L revised the manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Authors declare no conflict of interests for this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Er-Man Chen, MD, Doctor, Department of Orthopedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, NO. 88, Jiefang Road, Hangzhou 310000, Zhejiang Province, China.
Received: January 1, 2020
Peer-review started: January 1, 2020
First decision: March 5, 2020
Revised: April 7, 2020
Accepted: April 18, 2020
Article in press: April 18, 2020
Published online: May 26, 2020

The postnatal skeleton undergoes growth, modeling, and remodeling. The human skeleton is a composite of diverse tissue types, including bone, cartilage, fat, fibroblasts, nerves, blood vessels, and hematopoietic cells. Fracture nonunion and bone defects are among the most challenging clinical problems in orthopedic trauma. The incidence of nonunion or bone defects following fractures is increasing. Stem and progenitor cells mediate homeostasis and regeneration in postnatal tissue, including bone tissue. As multipotent stem cells, skeletal stem cells (SSCs) have a strong effect on the growth, differentiation, and repair of bone regeneration. In recent years, a number of important studies have characterized the hierarchy, differential potential, and bone formation of SSCs. Here, we describe studies on and applications of SSCs and/or mesenchymal stem cells for bone regeneration.

Keywords: Skeletal stem cell, Mesenchymal stem cell, Bone regeneration, Periosteum, Bone marrow, Skeleton

Core tip: Stem cell-based therapies have multiple applications in the field of bone regeneration. Recent research has demonstrated the advantageous use of skeletal stem cells (SSCs) and mesenchymal stem cells for bone modeling and remodeling. Our analysis indicates the hierarchy, self-renewal and differential potential of SSCs and the functions of SSCs, mesenchymal stem cells, and circulating progenitor cells on bone regeneration.