Annual health care costs for musculoskeletal disease are in the billions. More than half of all injuries occurring each year are to the musculoskeletal system resulting in significant loss of work and school days. Musculoskeletal disease in childhood can be devastating and the burden of sarcopenia and osteoporosis with age continues to increase. Sarcopenia, muscle wasting, results in poor balance, reduced walking speed, falls, and fractures and can be thought of as the muscular equivalent of osteoporosis. Although it is well recognized that muscle and bones are responsive to exercise, we know little regarding cellular and molecular interactions between these two tissues. Therefore, we are proposing a conference to draw together leading muscle and bone researchers nationally and internationally to exchange ideas and to develop new collaborations. This conference would create a venue for the rapid and open exchange of ideas and research results in this important field of muscle and bone interactions. The immediate goal of our conference is to identify critical research themes that would lead to collaborative grant applications between muscle and bone researchers followed by dissemination of findings from this meeting in venues such as publications and presentations.
Specific aims to be addressed at this meeting include: to understand the close association between muscle and bone during development and growth and how nutrition and physical activity affects general health, to dissect the role of aging in the association between sarcopenia and osteoporosis, to identify molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for the close association between muscle and bone, to define defective mechanotransduction in both muscle and bone, to determine if muscle communicates with bone independent of mechanical loading, to identify joint approaches to prevent, treat, and reverse or regenerate muscle and bone loss, and to assess the feasibility of establishing a combined research field that integrates both muscle and bone physiology. The ultimate goal is to generate a better understanding of how these two tissues integrate and crosstalk in both health and disease. The goal and hope is that this meeting will trigger new therapeutic strategies to enhance and maintain musculoskeletal health.

Public Health Relevance

Throughout life, from childhood to old age, bone and muscle are tightly and intimately connected. Disease or injury in either tissue affects the other. Althoug muscle loading of bone clearly plays a role in this interaction, little is known about potential cellular and molecular mechanisms. Therefore this conference is proposed to bring together leading muscle and bone researchers to identify critical research areas that would lead to collaborations to address musculoskeletal disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Conference (R13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAR1-CHW (M2))
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Sharrock, William J
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American Society for Bone & Mineral Research
United States
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Bonewald, Lynda F; Kiel, Douglas P; Clemens, Thomas L et al. (2013) Forum on bone and skeletal muscle interactions: summary of the proceedings of an ASBMR workshop. J Bone Miner Res 28:1857-65