The emergence of the endochondral skeleton in terrestrial animals enabled ambulation against increased gravitational forces and provided a storage site for scarce minerals essential for life. This skeletal upgrade increased overall fuel requirements and altered global energy balance, prompting the evolution of endocrine networks to coordinate energy expenditure. Bone-forming osteoblasts require a large and constant supply of energy substrates to fuel bone matrix production and mineralization. When fuel demands are unmet, bone quality and strength are compromised. Recent studies suggest that key developmental signaling pathways are coupled to bioenergetic programs, accommodating changes in energy requirements at different stages of the osteoblast life cycle. Studies in genetically altered mice have confirmed a link between bone cells and global metabolism and have led to the identification of hormonal interactions between the skeleton and other tissues. These observations have prompted new questions regarding the nature of the mechanisms of fuel sensing and processing in the osteoblast and their contribution to overall energy utilization and homeostasis. Answers to such questions should advance our understanding of metabolic diseases and may ultimately improve treatments for patients with diabetes and osteoporosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics