15 Citations (Scopus)


Bone tissue degeneration is an urgent clinical issue, making it a subject of intensive research. Chronic skeletal disease forms can be prevalent, such as the age-related osteoporosis, or rare, in the form of monogenetic bone disorders. A barrier in the understanding of the underlying pathological process is the lack of accessibility to relevant material. For this reason, cells of non-bone tissue are emerging as a suitable alternative for models of bone biology. Fibroblasts are highly suitable for this application; they populate accessible anatomical locations, such as the skin tissue. Reports suggesting their utility in preclinical models for the study of skeletal diseases are increasingly becoming available. The majority of these are based on the generation of an intermediate stem cell type, the induced pluripotent stem cells, which are subsequently directed to the osteogenic cell lineage. This intermediate stage is circumvented in transdifferentiation, the process regulating the direct conversion of fibroblasts to osteogenic cells, which is currently not well-explored. With this mini review, we aimed to give an overview of existing osteogenic transdifferentiation models and to inform about their applications in bone biology models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number394
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020


  • bone disease
  • fibroblast
  • osteoblast
  • osteogenic transdifferentiation
  • preclinical model

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