Endochondral bone formation requires an elaborate interplay among autocrine, paracrine, and endocrine signals, positional cues, and cell-cell contacts to mediate the complex three-dimensional architecture and function of the skeleton. Embryonic bone development occurs by migration, aggregation, and condensation of immature mesenchymal progenitor cells to form the cartilaginous anlage. Upon vascular invasion, the cartilaginous scaffold is colonized and subsequently mineralized by osteoblasts. Likewise, bone remodeling in the adult skeleton is a dynamic process that requires coordinated cellular activities among osteoblasts, osteocytes, and osteoclasts to maintain bone homeostasis. This review examines the role of cell-cell interactions mediated by adherens junctions formed by cadherins and communicative gap junctions formed by connexins in regulating bone development and osteogenic function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalBirth Defects Research Part C - Embryo Today: Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Adherens junctions
  • Cadherin
  • Connexin
  • Gap junctions
  • Osteoblast


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