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Aging and Mechanoadaptive Responsiveness of Bone

Javaheri B1, Pitsillides AA2.

Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2019 Nov 23. doi: 10.1007/s11914-019-00553-7. [Epub ahead of print]


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Osteoporosis is an age-related disorder characterized by bone loss and increased fracture susceptibility. Whether this is due to reduced loading in less active elderly individuals or inherent modifications in bone cells is uncertain. We suppose that osteoporosis is nonetheless prima facie evidence for impaired mechanoadaptation; either capacity to accrue new bone declines, or the stimulus for such accrual is absent/can no longer be triggered in the aged. Herein, we provide only sufficient background to enable a focus on recent advances which seek to address such dilemmas.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent advances from innovative high-impact loading regimes emphasize the priming of mechanoadaptation in the aged, such that low-to-moderate intensity loading becomes beneficial. These new findings lead us to speculate that aged bone mechanoadaptation is not driven solely by strain magnitude but is instead sensitive to high strain gradients. Impaired mechanoadaptation is a feature of the aged skeleton. Recent advances indicate that novel interventional loading regimes can restore mechanoadaptive capacity, enabling new approaches for retaining bone health in the aged. Innovative exercise paradigms appear to be capable of «hacking» into the osteogenic signal produced by exercise such that low-to-moderate intensity activities may also become more beneficial. Deciphering the underpinning mechanism(s) will also enable new pharmacological intervention for retaining bone health in the aged.