Systemic effects of abnormal bone resorption on muscle, metabolism, and cognition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Skeletal tissue is dynamic, undergoing constant remodeling to maintain musculoskeletal integrity and balance in the human body. Recent evidence shows that apart from maintaining homeostasis in the local microenvironment, the skeleton systemically affects other tissues. Several cancer-associated and noncancer-associated bone disorders can disrupt the physiological homeostasis locally in the bone microenvironment and indirectly contribute to dysregulation of systemic body function. The systemic effects of bone on the regulation of distant organ function have not been widely explored. Recent evidence suggests that bone can interact with skeletal muscle, pancreas, and brain by releasing factors from mineralized bone matrix. Currently available bone-targeting therapies such as bisphosphonates and denosumab inhibit bone resorption, decrease morbidity associated with bone destruction, and improve survival. Bisphosphonates have been a standard treatment for bone metastases, osteoporosis, and cancer treatment–induced bone diseases. The extraskeletal effects of bisphosphonates on inhibition of tumor growth are known. However, our knowledge of the effects of bisphosphonates on muscle weakness, hyperglycemia, and cognitive defects is currently evolving. To be able to identify the molecular link between bone and distant organs during abnormal bone resorption and then treat these abnormalities and prevent their systemic effects could improve survival benefits. The current review highlights the link between bone resorption and its systemic effects on muscle, pancreas, and brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116245
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Bisphosphonate
  • Bone metastasis
  • Bone microenvironment
  • Bone remodeling
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Muscle weakness
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology
  • Physiology


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