Gardinier JD. The Diminishing Returns of Mechanical Loading and Potential Mechanisms that Desensitize Osteocytes. Curr Osteoporos Rep 2021.
Curr Osteoporos Rep
Adaptation to mechanical loading is critical to maintaining bone mass and offers therapeutic potential to preventing age-related bone loss and osteoporosis. However, increasing the duration of loading is met with "diminishing returns" as the anabolic response quickly becomes saturated. As a result, the anabolic response to daily activities and repetitive bouts of loading is limited by the underlying mechanisms that desensitize and render bone unresponsive at the cellular level. Osteocytes are the primary cells that respond to skeletal loading and facilitate the overall anabolic response. Although many of osteocytes' signaling mechanisms activated in response to loading are considered anabolic in nature, several of them can also render osteocytes insensitive to further stimuli and thereby creating a negative feedback loop that limits osteocytes' overall response. The purpose of this review is to examine the potential mechanisms that may contribute to the loss of mechanosensitivity. In particular, we examined the inactivation/desensitization of ion channels and signaling molecules along with the potential role of endocytosis and cytoskeletal reorganization. The significance in defining the negative feedback loop is the potential to identify unique targets for enabling osteocytes to maintain their sensitivity. In doing so, we can begin to cultivate new strategies that capitalize on the anabolic nature of daily activities that repeatedly load the skeleton.
ePub ahead of print