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Bone. 2004 May;34(5):771-5.

The 'muscle-bone unit' during the pubertal growth spurt.

Author information

1
Genetics Unit, Shriners Hospital for Children and McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3G 1A6. frauch@shriners.mcgill.ca

Abstract

Mechanostat theory postulates that developmental changes in bone strength are secondary to the increasing loads imposed by larger muscle forces. Therefore, the increase in muscle strength should precede the increase in bone strength. We tested this prediction using densitometric surrogate measures of muscle force (lean body mass, LBM) and bone strength (bone mineral content, BMC) in a study on 70 boys and 68 girls who were longitudinally examined during pubertal development. On the level of the total body, the peak in LBM accrual preceded the peak in BMC accretion by an average of 0.51 years in girls and by 0.36 years in boys. In the arms, the maximal increase in LBM was followed by arm peak BMC accrual after an interval of 0.71 years in girls and 0.63 years in boys. In the lower extremities, the maximal increase in LBM was followed by peak BMC accrual after an interval of 0.22 years in girls and 0.48 years in boys. A multiple regression model revealed that total body peak LBM velocity, but not peak height velocity and sex, was independently associated with total body peak BMC velocity (r(2) = 0.50; P < 0.001). Similarly, arm and leg peak LBM velocity, but not peak height velocity and sex, were independently associated with arm and leg peak BMC velocity, respectively (r(2) = 0.61 for arms, r(2) = 0.41 for legs; P < 0.001 in both cases). These results are compatible with the view that bone development is driven by muscle development, although the data do not exclude the hypothesis that the two processes are independently determined by genetic mechanisms.

PMID:
15121007
DOI:
10.1016/j.bone.2004.01.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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