Bone remodeling is required for healthy calcium homeostasis and for repair of damage occurring with stress and age. Osteoclasts resorb bone and osteoblasts form bone. These processes normally occur in a tightly regulated sequence of events, where the amount of formed bone equals the amount of resorbed bone, thereby restoring the removed bone completely. Osteocytes are the third cell type playing an essential role in bone turnover. They appear to regulate activation of bone remodeling, and they exert both positive and negative regulation on both osteoclasts and osteoblasts. In this review, we consider the intricate communication between these bone cells in relation to bone remodeling, reviewing novel data from patients with mutations rendering different cell populations inactive, which have shown that these interactions are more complex than originally thought. We highlight the high probability that a detailed understanding of these processes will aid in the development of novel treatments for bone metabolic disorders, i.e. we discuss the possibility that bone resorption can be attenuated pharmacologically without a secondary reduction in bone formation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism