Joseph Lorenzo 1
Cytokines and hematopoietic growth factors have traditionally been thought of as regulators of the development and function of immune and blood cells. However, an ever-expanding number of these factors have been discovered to have major effects on bone cells and the development of the skeleton in health and disease (Table 1). In addition, several cytokines have been directly linked to the development of osteoporosis in both animal models and in patients. In order to understand the mechanisms regulating bone cells and how this may be dysregulated in disease states, it is necessary to appreciate the diverse effects that cytokines and inflammation have on osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and bone mass. This chapter provides a broad overview of this topic with extensive references so that, if desired, readers can access specific references to delve into individual topics in greater detail.