Abstract: Identification of novel regional skeletal stem cells (SSCs) will provide a new cellular paradigm for bone physiology and dysfunction. Several populations of SSCs have been identified at distinct skeletal sites. However, a bona fide SSC population has not yet been formally characterized in the bone marrow. Here, we identify a metaphyseal SSCs (mpSSCs) population whose transcriptional landscape is distinct from other bone mesenchymal stromal cells (bMSCs) in the bone marrow. These mpSSCs emerge at the postnatal stage and reside just underneath the growth plate, consistent with the fact that these mpSSCs are exclusively derived from hypertrophic chondrocytes (HCs). These mpSSCs possess SSC properties such as self-renewal and multipotency in vitro and in vivo, stand at the top of the HC de-differentiation path, and produce most HC progeny. Genetic block of the conversion from HCs to mpSSCs significantly compromises trabecular bone formation and bone regeneration. Thus, metaphysis houses a unique HC-derived SSC population, which is a major source of osteoblasts and bMSCs supporting postnatal trabecular bone formation.

Journal Link: 10.1101/2022.09.08.506930 Journal Link: Publisher Website Journal Link: Download PDF Journal Link: Google Scholar