Biochemical Interaction Between Muscle and Bone: A Physiological Reality?

R.T. Jaspers, N. Bravenboer

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8 Citations (Scopus)


In elderly with a sedentary lifestyle, often suffering from sarcopenia to osteopenia, a training intervention could be an effective countermeasure for bone as well as muscle. Both bone and muscle adapt their mass and strength in response to mechanical loading in part via similar signaling pathways. Bone as well as muscle produces a wide variety of growth factors and cytokines in response to mechanical loading, which are important for their adaptations. It has been hypothesized that in addition to mechanical stimuli, muscle and bone communicate by these factors. Whether such biochemical interaction between both tissues is physiological is a still subject of debate. Here, we provide an overview of a range of biological factors possibly involved in the biochemical cross talk between bone and muscle. In addition, we discuss the plausibility that such interactions are involved in non-pathological adaptation of both tissues, either in paracrine or in endocrine fashion. As yet, convincing experimental evidence for biochemical cross talk between muscle and bone is very limited. Several studies have shown that muscle-derived factors are involved in bone fracture healing as well as in bone adaptation in case of muscle pathology. For involvement of cross talk between muscle and bone in physiological adaptation, there is no definite proof yet. Detailed knowledge of the biochemical interactions between muscle and bone is of clinical importance. It can help to discover pharmacological treatment to be used alone or in parallel with exercise training, thereby reducing the need for high-impact exercise. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-43
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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