The mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of exercise on bone remodeling: Roles of bone-derived cytokines and microRNAs

Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2016 Nov;122(2):131-139. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2016.05.010. Epub 2016 May 12.


Bone remodeling is highly dynamic and complex in response to mechanical loading, such as exercise. In this review, we concluded that a number of individual factors are disturbing the clinical effects of exercise on bone remodeling. We updated the progress made on the differentiation of osteoblasts and osteoclasts in response to mechanical loading, hoping to provide a theoretical basis to improve bone metabolism with exercise. Increasing evidences indicate that bone is not only a structural scaffold but also an endocrine organ, which secretes osteocalcin and FGF23. Both of them have been known as a circulating hormone to promote insulin sensitivity and reduce body fat mass. The effects of exercise on these bone-derived cytokines provide a better understanding of how exercise-induced "osteokine" affects the whole-body homeostasis. Additionally, we discussed recent studies highlighting the post-transcriptional regulation of microRNAs in bone remodeling. We focus on the involvement of the microRNAs in osteoblastogenesis and osteoclastogenesis, and suggest that microRNAs may be critical for exercise-induced bone remodeling.

Keywords: Bone remodeling; Exercise; FGF23; Osteoblast; Osteocalcin; Osteoclast; microRNA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Remodeling*
  • Bone and Bones / cytology
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Bone and Bones / physiology
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Exercise*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*


  • Cytokines
  • FGF23 protein, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23