Purpose of review: This review explores how the relationships between bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT) adipogenesis with advancing age, obesity, and/or bone diseases (osteopenia or osteoporosis) contribute to mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal pathophysiology.
Recent findings: Recent studies have re-defined adipose tissue as a dynamic, vital organ with functions extending beyond its historic identity restricted solely to that of an energy reservoir or sink. "State of the art" methodologies provide novel insights into the developmental origin, physiology, and function of different adipose tissue depots. These include genetic tracking of adipose progenitors, viral vectors application, and sophisticated non-invasive imaging modalities. While constricted within the rigid bone cavity, BMAT vigorously contributes to local and systemic metabolic processes including hematopoiesis, osteogenesis, and energy metabolism and undergoes dynamic changes as a function of age, diet, bone topography, or sex. These insights will impact future research and therapies relating to osteoporosis.
Keywords: Beige cells; Bone marrow; Brown adipose tissue; Cytomegalovirus; White adipose tissue.