, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 135-141
Date: 26 Mar 2014

Endocrine Crosstalk Between Muscle and Bone

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Abstract

The musculoskeletal system is a complex organ comprised of the skeletal bones, skeletal muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, joints, and other connective tissue that physically and mechanically interact to provide animals and humans with the essential ability of locomotion. This mechanical interaction is undoubtedly essential for much of the diverse shape and forms observed in vertebrates and even in invertebrates with rudimentary musculoskeletal systems such as fish. It makes sense from a historical point of view that the mechanical theories of musculoskeletal development have had tremendous influence of our understanding of biology, because these relationships are clear and palpable. Less visible to the naked eye or even to the microscope is the biochemical interaction among the individual players of the musculoskeletal system. It was only in recent years that we have begun to appreciate that beyond this mechanical coupling of muscle and bones, these 2 tissues function at a higher level through crosstalk signaling mechanisms that are important for the function of the concomitant tissue. Our brief review attempts to present some of the key concepts of these new concepts and is outline to present muscles and bones as secretory/endocrine organs, the evidence for mutual genetic and tissue interactions, pathophysiological examples of crosstalk, and the exciting new directions for this promising field of research aimed at understanding the biochemical/molecular coupling of these 2 intimately associated tissues.