JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Bone remodeling

Dimitrios J Hadjidakis, Ioannis I Androulakis
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2006, 1092: 385-96
17308163
The skeleton is a metabolically active organ that undergoes continuous remodeling throughout life. Bone remodeling involves the removal of mineralized bone by osteoclasts followed by the formation of bone matrix through the osteoblasts that subsequently become mineralized. The remodeling cycle consists of three consecutive phases: resorption, during which osteoclasts digest old bone; reversal, when mononuclear cells appear on the bone surface; and formation, when osteoblasts lay down new bone until the resorbed bone is completely replaced. Bone remodeling serves to adjust bone architecture to meet changing mechanical needs and it helps to repair microdamages in bone matrix preventing the accumulation of old bone. It also plays an important role in maintaining plasma calcium homeostasis. The regulation of bone remodeling is both systemic and local. The major systemic regulators include parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcitriol, and other hormones such as growth hormone, glucocorticoids, thyroid hormones, and sex hormones. Factors such as insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), prostaglandins, tumor growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP), and cytokines are involved as well. As far as local regulation of bone remodeling is concerned, a large number of cytokines and growth factors that affect bone cell functions have been recently identified. Furthermore, through the RANK/receptor activator of NF-kappa B ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) system the processes of bone resorption and formation are tightly coupled allowing a wave of bone formation to follow each cycle of bone resorption, thus maintaining skeletal integrity.

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