Energy Metabolism of Bone

Toxicol Pathol. 2017 Oct;45(7):887-893. doi: 10.1177/0192623317737065. Epub 2017 Nov 2.


Biological processes utilize energy and therefore must be prioritized based on fuel availability. Bone is no exception to this, and the benefit of remodeling when necessary outweighs the energy costs. Bone remodeling is important for maintaining blood calcium homeostasis, repairing micro cracks and fractures, and modifying bone structure so that it is better suited to withstand loading demands. Osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and osteocytes are the primary cells responsible for bone remodeling, although bone marrow adipocytes and other cells may also play an indirect role. There is a renewed interest in bone cell energetics because of the potential for these processes to be targeted for osteoporosis therapies. In contrast, due to the intimate link between bone and energy homeostasis, pharmaceuticals that treat metabolic disease or have metabolic side effects often have deleterious bone consequences. In this brief review, we will introduce osteoporosis, discuss how bone cells utilize energy to function, evidence for bone regulating whole body energy homeostasis, and some of the unanswered questions and opportunities for further research in the field.

Keywords: bone; endocrine system; energy balance; musculoskeletal system.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Calcium / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / complications
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / physiopathology
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Osteoclasts / drug effects
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism
  • Osteocytes / drug effects
  • Osteocytes / metabolism
  • Osteoporosis


  • Calcium