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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 1652417, 11 pages
Review Article

The Regulatory Roles of MicroRNAs in Bone Remodeling and Perspectives as Biomarkers in Osteoporosis

1Department of Spine Surgery, Shenzhen People’s Hospital, Jinan University School of Medicine, Shenzhen 518020, China
2Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The University of Hong Kong, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
3Center for Human Tissues and Organs Degeneration, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China
4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China
5Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing 100730, China

Received 5 December 2015; Revised 26 February 2016; Accepted 29 February 2016

Academic Editor: Jozef Zustin

Copyright © 2016 Mengge Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


MicroRNAs are involved in many cellular and molecular activities and played important roles in many biological and pathological processes, such as tissue formation, cancer development, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Recently, it has been reported that microRNAs can modulate the differentiation and activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, the key cells that are involved in bone remodeling process. Meanwhile, the results from our and other research groups showed that the expression profiles of microRNAs in the serum and bone tissues are significantly different in postmenopausal women with or without fractures compared to the control. Therefore, it can be postulated that microRNAs might play important roles in bone remodeling and that they are very likely to be involved in the pathological process of postmenopausal osteoporosis. In this review, we will present the updated research on the regulatory roles of microRNAs in osteoblasts and osteoclasts and the expression profiles of microRNAs in osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture patients. The perspective of serum microRNAs as novel biomarkers in bone loss disorders such as osteoporosis has also been discussed.