Research ArticleStem Cells

Thy-1 (CD90) promotes bone formation and protects against obesity

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Translational Medicine  08 Aug 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 453, eaao6806
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao6806

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Stem cells’ balancing act

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) differentiate into multiple cell types. Picke et al. investigated how MSC differentiation is regulated to maintain homeostasis between the bone and fat lineages. Genetic deletion of Thy-1, a protein expressed on multiple cell types including MSCs, prevented MSC differentiation into osteoblasts but promoted differentiation into adipocytes. Thy-1–deficient mice had increased body fat and decreased bone mass. High-fat diet induced obesity in wild-type mice and concurrent reduction in bone formation, which was associated with decreased Thy-1 expression on MSCs. Obese human subjects and subjects with osteoporosis showed reductions in serum soluble Thy-1. This study suggests that Thy-1 regulates the balance between bone and fat lineages, with possible implications for bone and metabolic disorders.