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Since the discovery of its role in the CNS, glutamate, together with its involvement in signalling at synapses, has been the subject of a vast amount of research. More recently, it has become clear that glutamate signalling is also functional in non-neuronal tissues and occurs in sites as diverse as bone, pancreas and skin. These findings raise the(More)
Vascular calcification shares many similarities with skeletal mineralisation and involves the phenotypic trans-differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to osteoblastic cells within a calcified environment. Various microRNAs (miRs) are known to regulate cell differentiation; however, their role in mediating VSMC calcification is not fully(More)
Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs, also called bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells) provide hematopoietic support and immunoregulation and contain a stem cell fraction capable of skeletogenic differentiation. We used immortalized human BMSC clonal lines for multi-level analysis of functional markers for BMSC subsets. All clones expressed typical(More)
Cells of mammalian bone express glutamate receptors. Functional N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors have been demonstrated in human, osteoblastic MG-63 cells, but currents in these cells, unlike those of mammalian neurons, are blocked by Mg(2+) in a voltage-insensitive manner. Differences between the characteristics of NMDA currents in bone cells and in(More)
Specific immunohistochemical staining for NMDA receptor NR2A/B subunits was found in the outer root sheath layer of rat sinus hair (whisker) follicle. Co-localization with CK 20 confirmed that Merkel cells were stained. The NR2A/B staining seen on Merkel cells was pericellular. In addition it appeared that NF70-positive staining was in close proximity to,(More)
Regulated intercellular signaling is essential for the maintenance of bone mass. In recent work we described how osteoblasts and osteoclasts express functional receptors for the excitatory amino acid, glutamate, indicating that a signaling pathway analogous to synaptic neurotransmission exists in bone. Here, we show that osteoblasts also express the(More)
Recent work has demonstrated that neurotransmitters, signalling molecules primarily associated with the nervous system, can have profound effects on the skeleton. Bone cells express a broad range of neurotransmitter receptors and transporters, and respond to receptor activation by initiating diverse intracellular signalling pathways, which modulate cellular(More)
BACKGROUND The adaptive response of bone cells to mechanical strain is a primary determinant of skeletal architecture and bone mass. In vivo mechanical loading induces new bone formation and increases bone mineral density whereas disuse, immobilisation and weightlessness induce bone loss. The potency of mechanical strain is such that a single brief period(More)
The exact role of Merkel cells and their possible involvement in mechanosensation is unclear. The aim of this study was to determine, in the adult rat sinus hair follicle, the expression pattern of a number of vesicular proteins involved in neurotransmitter release to provide a clearer understanding of Merkel cell signalling mechanisms. We identified(More)