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Review of the Pathways Involved in the Osteogenic Differentiation of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells

Asserson, Derek B., BS; Orbay, Hakan, MD, PhD; Sahar, David E., MD

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: May 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 3 - p 703–708
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000005447
Original Articles

Grafts and prosthetic materials used for the repair of bone defects are often accompanied by comorbidity and rejection. Therefore, there is an immense need for novel approaches to combating the issues surrounding such defects. Because of their accessibility, substantial proportion, and osteogenic differentiation potential, adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) make for an ideal source of bone tissue in regenerative medicine. However, efficient induction of ASCs toward an osteoblastic lineage in vivo is met with challenges, and many signaling pathways must come together to secure osteoblastogenesis. Among them are bone morphogenic protein, wingless-related integration site protein, Notch, Hedgehog, fibroblast growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and extracellular regulated-signal kinase. The goal of this literature review is to conglomerate the present research on these pathways to formulate a better understanding of how ASCs are most effectively transformed into bone in the context of tissue engineering.

Department of Surgery, Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory, University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Hakan Orbay, MD, PhD, 4625 2nd Avenue, Research Building II, Room 3004 Sacramento, CA 95817; E-mail:; Derek B. Asserson, BS, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA; E-mail:

Received 2 November, 2018

Accepted 4 February, 2019

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2019 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.