Muscle and Bone Impairment in Infantile Nephropathic Cystinosis: New Concepts

Cells. 2022 Jan 5;11(1):170. doi: 10.3390/cells11010170.


Cystinosis Metabolic Bone Disease (CMBD) has emerged during the last decade as a well-recognized, long-term complication in patients suffering from infantile nephropathic cystinosis (INC), resulting in significant morbidity and impaired quality of life in teenagers and adults with INC. Its underlying pathophysiology is complex and multifactorial, associating complementary, albeit distinct entities, in addition to ordinary mineral and bone disorders observed in other types of chronic kidney disease. Amongst these long-term consequences are renal Fanconi syndrome, hypophosphatemic rickets, malnutrition, hormonal abnormalities, muscular impairment, and intrinsic cellular bone defects in bone cells, due to CTNS mutations. Recent research data in the field have demonstrated abnormal mineral regulation, intrinsic bone defects, cysteamine toxicity, muscle wasting and, likely interleukin-1-driven inflammation in the setting of CMBD. Here we summarize these new pathophysiological deregulations and discuss the crucial interplay between bone and muscle in INC. In future, vitamin D and/or biotherapies targeting the IL1β pathway may improve muscle wasting and subsequently CMBD, but this remains to be proven.

Keywords: bone-muscle wasting; cysteamine; fibroblast growth factor 23; fractures; infantile nephropathic cystinosis; leptin; osteoclasts; sclerostin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Bone and Bones / pathology*
  • Cystinosis / blood
  • Cystinosis / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Minerals / metabolism
  • Muscles / pathology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Minerals

Supplementary concepts

  • Cystinosis, Infantile Nephropathic