Background & Objective: Bone defects caused by bone fractures, malformations, postoperation
on tumor and even periodontitis have became serious clinical problems. Although the exact
origin of osteoblast precursors is still obscure, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that originate from
local bone marrow, periosteum, endosteum, mineralized bone or systemic circulation play key roles in
osteoblastic differentiation and secretion of multiple factors during spontaneous healing of bone trauma
or defect. Substantial evidences have shown that systemically infused MSCs can home and participate
in bone tissue repair or regeneration. Applying pharmacological molecules to promote MSC homing or
to mobilize MSCs in bone marrow niche to increase the amount of MSCs in the peripheral blood has
been demonstrated to be important strategies to enhance MSC homing. However, there are some systemic
conditions which influence MSC homing.
Summary: In this paper, we review both systemic and local homing of MSCs during bone regeneration,
and discuss strategies for enhancing the recruitment of MSCs to the injured bone tissues. Systemic influences
of MSC homing are also discussed.