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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2008 May 15;473(2):231-6. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Mar 23.

Regulation of bone remodeling by the central and peripheral nervous system.

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Vanderbilt University, Medicine, 2215 Garland Avenue, Medical Research Building IV Room, Nashville, TN 37232-0575, USA. florent.elefteriou@Vanderbilt.Edu


The homeostatic nature of bone remodeling has become a notion further supported lately by the demonstration that neuropeptides and their receptors regulate osteoblast and osteoclast function in vivo. Following initial studies reporting the presence of nerves and nerve-derived products within the bone microenvironment and the expression of receptors for these neuropeptides in bone cells, new experimental and mechanistic evidence based on in vivo murine genetic and pharmacologic models recently demonstrated that inputs from the central and peripheral nervous system feed into the already complex regulatory machinery controlling bone remodeling. The function of a number of "osteo-neuromediators" has been characterized, including norepinephrine and the beta2-adrenergic receptor, Neuropeptide Y and the Y1 and Y2 receptors, endocannabinoids and the CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as dopamine, serotonin and their receptors and transporters, Calcitonin gene-related peptide, and neuronal NOS. This new body of evidence suggests that neurons in the central nervous system integrate clues from the internal and external milieux, such as energy homeostasis, glycemia or reproductive signals, with the regulation of bone remodeling. The next major tasks in this new area of bone biology will be to understand, at the molecular level, the mechanisms by which common central neural systems regulate and integrate these major physiological functions, the relative importance of the central and peripheral actions of neuropeptides present in both compartments and their relationship, and how bone cells signal back to central centers, because the definition of a homeostatic function implies the existence of feedback signals. Together, these findings shed a new light on the complexity of the mechanisms regulating bone remodeling and uncovered new potential therapeutic strategies for the design of bone anabolic treatments. This review summarizes the latest advances in this area, focusing on investigations based on in vivo animal studies.

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