The Immunological Contribution to Heterotopic Ossification Disorders

Michael R. Convente, Haitao Wang, Robert J. Pignolo, Frederick S. Kaplan, Eileen M. Shore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The formation of bone outside the endogenous skeleton is a significant clinical event, rendering affected individuals with immobility and a diminished quality of life. This bone, termed heterotopic ossification (HO), can appear in patients following invasive surgeries and traumatic injuries, as well as progressively manifest in several congenital disorders. A unifying feature of both genetic and nongenetic episodes of HO is immune system involvement at the early stages of disease. Activation of the immune system sets the stage for the downstream anabolic events that eventually result in ectopic bone formation, rendering the immune system a particularly appealing site of early therapeutic intervention for optimal management of disease. In this review, we will discuss the immunological contributions to HO disorders, with specific focus on contributing cell types, signaling pathways, relevant in vivo animal models, and potential therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent osteoporosis reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2015


  • Chemokines
  • Complement
  • Cytokines
  • Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva
  • Heterotopic ossification
  • Immune system
  • Lymphocytes
  • Macrophages
  • Mast cells
  • Progressive osseous heteroplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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