Errors in bone remodeling: Toward a unified theory of metabolic bone disease

David B. Burr, R. Bruce Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Recent evidence suggests that skeletal adaptation is organized by a functional unit that includes cells of diverse origin working in coordination. Genetic and metabolic factors control and regulate the processes of modeling and remodeling, only rarely acting on the isolated individual functions of specific cell lines. Errors in the genetic or metabolic regulation of the functional unit affect the entire process of skeletal adaptation rather than specific elements of it. Viewed in this way, some metabolic bone diseases can be understood as relatively simple errors in factors that control the coordinated activities of the entire functional unit. This paper reviews the modeling and remodeling processes and demonstrates how abnormal morphological characteristics of bone tissue can be viewed as products of specific errors in the adaptive process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-216
Number of pages31
JournalAmerican Journal of Anatomy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy

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