Cells responsible for the formation and maintenance of bone express thrombin-responsive members of the protease-activated receptor family of G protein-coupled receptors. Thrombin has been shown to elicit a number of functional responses in these cells, including proliferation and cytokine production in osteoblasts. Many, but not all, of the effects of thrombin on bone cells are initiated by activation of protease-activated receptor-1. A combination of
in vitroobservations and results of in vivostudies in protease-activated receptor-1-null mice suggest that thrombin plays multiple roles in the early stages of bone healing.