Diseases, disorders, and injuries of the musculoskeletal system relating to bones, joints, and muscles are the leading cause of disability and health care costs in the U.S. (5.7% GDP). With a projected 20% of the world population being 60 and older by 2050 and over 35% by 2150, disability and resulting health care costs will only increase. It is becoming increasingly evident that muscle and bone interact through biochemical and molecular crosstalk beyond just the loading of bone by muscle. Diseases of one tissue may predispose the other to disease. For example, it is not known if osteoporosis precedes, occurs concurrently with or is the result of sarcopenia. A seminal meeting took place in Kansas City in 2012 sponsored by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research that brought investigators together to address the question ?Is there interaction between muscle and bone beyond the mechanical?? At that time, the bone field and the muscle field were mainly siloed with little interaction. Since then a new field of research, that of bone and muscle interactions, has been established. It is now time for a follow-up meeting that asks the question, ?What is the evidence that muscle and bone interact beyond the mechanical and how can this new information lead to potential treatments for musculoskeletal disease?? The Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health (ICMH) plans to host a meeting ?Bone and Muscle Interactions: The Mechanical and Beyond? in August 2019 to address this question.
The specific aims of this meeting are to: 1) Bring together national and international leaders in bone, muscle, and bone-muscle interactions to initiate and promote collaborative studies in the new field of muscle-bone interactions; 2) Stimulate new ideas through facilitated brainstorming sessions, group discussions, panel discussions, innovative match- matching events, and scheduled, intentional one-on-one interactions; 3) Identify means to promote, inform, and support the new field of bone-muscle interactions, and; 4) Disseminate information regarding the new field, such as the latest ideas, potential for collaboration, and new opportunities for funding and support. A summary report of the meeting will be submitted for publication. Sessions will center on bone-muscle interactions in aging, cancer, energetics and metabolism, orthopaedics, nutrition, pediatric and adult genetic and musculoskeletal disease, and soluble factors and exercise-released mediators of muscle-bone interactions. The ultimate goal of this meeting is to trigger new strategies for preventing and treating musculoskeletal disease.

Public Health Relevance

Recently it has been shown that muscle and bone not only interact mechanically, but also via secreted molecules. Treatment targeted to one tissue can have beneficial effects on the other tissue, but the mechanisms responsible are currently unknown. This conference will bring together leading investigators in the new field of bone and muscle interactions to identify the mechanisms responsible for musculoskeletal disease in order to design new therapeutics targeting the musculoskeletal system as a whole.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Conference (R13)
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Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee (NIA)
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Williams, John
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Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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