Bone regeneration following injury is initiated by inflammatory signals and occurs in association with infiltration by sensory nerve fibers. Together, these events are believed to coordinate angiogenesis and tissue reprogramming, but the mechanism of coupling immune signals to reinnervation and osteogenesis is unknown. Here, we found that nerve growth factor (NGF) is expressed following cranial bone injury and signals via p75 in resident mesenchymal osteogenic precursors to affect their migration into the damaged tissue. Mice lacking Ngf in myeloid cells demonstrated reduced migration of osteogenic precursors to the injury site with consequently delayed bone healing. These features were phenocopied by mice lacking p75 in Pdgfra+ osteoblast precursors. Single-cell transcriptomics identified mesenchymal subpopulations with potential roles in cell migration and immune response, altered in the context of p75 deletion. Together, these results identify the role of p75 signaling pathway in coordinating skeletal cell migration during early bone repair.
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