The Role of Bone Cell Energetics in Altering Bone Quality and Strength in Health and Disease

Document Type


Publication Date



MaineHealth Institute for Research

Journal Title

Current osteoporosis reports


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Bone quality and strength are diminished with age and disease but can be improved by clinical intervention. Energetic pathways are essential for cellular function and drive osteogenic signaling within bone cells. Altered bone quality is associated with changes in the energetic activity of bone cells following diet-based or therapeutic interventions. Energetic pathways may directly or indirectly contribute to changes in bone quality. The goal of this review is to highlight tissue-level and bioenergetic changes in bone health and disease. RECENT FINDINGS: Bone cell energetics are an expanding field of research. Early literature primarily focused on defining energetic activation throughout the lifespan of bone cells. Recent studies have begun to connect bone energetic activity to health and disease. In this review, we highlight bone cell energetic demands, the effect of substrate availability on bone quality, altered bioenergetics associated with disease treatment and development, and additional biological factors influencing bone cell energetics. Bone cells use several energetic pathways during differentiation and maturity. The orchestration of bioenergetic pathways is critical for healthy cell function. Systemic changes in substrate availability alter bone quality, potentially due to the direct effects of altered bone cell bioenergetic activity. Bone cell bioenergetics may also contribute directly to the development and treatment of skeletal diseases. Understanding the role of energetic pathways in the cellular response to disease will improve patient treatment.