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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 720504, 16 pages
Review Article

The Interplay between the Bone and the Immune System

1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, 71100 Foggia, Italy
2Department of Medical Sciences, University of Torino, 10126 Torino, Italy
3Department of Orthopedics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
4Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sense Organs, Section of Human Anatomy and Histology, University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 11, 70124 Bari, Italy

Received 1 March 2013; Accepted 7 June 2013

Academic Editor: Enrico Maggi

Copyright © 2013 Giorgio Mori 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.


In the last two decades, numerous scientists have highlighted the interactions between bone and immune cells as well as their overlapping regulatory mechanisms. For example, osteoclasts, the bone-resorbing cells, are derived from the same myeloid precursor cells that give rise to macrophages and myeloid dendritic cells. On the other hand, osteoblasts, the bone-forming cells, regulate hematopoietic stem cell niches from which all blood and immune cells are derived. Furthermore, many of the soluble mediators of immune cells, including cytokines and growth factors, regulate the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. This increased recognition of the complex interactions between the immune system and bone led to the development of the interdisciplinary osteoimmunology field. Research in this field has great potential to provide a better understanding of the pathogenesis of several diseases affecting both the bone and immune systems, thus providing the molecular basis for novel therapeutic strategies. In these review, we reported the latest findings about the reciprocal regulation of bone and immune cells.