Article: Hernandez, CJ; Guss, JD; Luna, M; Goldring, SR; “Links Between the Microbiome and Bone”, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 31(9): 1638-1646
Abstract: The human microbiome has been shown to influence a number of chronic conditions associated with impaired bone mass and bone quality, including obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. The connection between the microbiome and bone health, however, has not been well studied. The few studies available demonstrate that the microbiome can have a large effect on bone remodeling and bone mass. The gut microbiome is the largest reservoir of microbial organisms in the body and consists of more than a thousand different species interacting with one another in a stable, dynamic equilibrium. How the microbiome can affect organs distant from the gut is not well understood but is believed to occur through regulation of nutrition, regulation of the immune system, and/or translocation of bacterial products across the gut endothelial barrier. Here we review each of these mechanisms and discuss their potential effect on bone remodeling and bone mass. We discuss how preclinical studies of bone-microbiome interactions are challenging because the microbiome is sensitive to genetic background, housing environment, and vendor source. Additionally, although the microbiome exhibits a robust response to external stimuli, it rapidly returns to its original steady state after a disturbance, making it difficult to sustain controlled changes in the microbiome over time periods required to detect alterations in bone remodeling, mass, or structure. Despite these challenges, an understanding of the mechanisms by which the gut microbiome affects bone has the potential to provide insights into the dissociation between fracture risk and bone mineral density in patients including those with obesity, diabetes, or inflammatory bowel disease.
In addition, alteration of the gut microbiome has the potential to serve as a biomarker of bone metabolic activity as well as a target for therapies to improve bone structure and quality using pharmaceutical agents or pre- or probiotics. (c) 2016 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
Funding Acknowledgement: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (US) [AR068061]; Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs through the office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) [W81XWH-15-1-0239]
Funding Text: This study was supported in part by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (US) under award number AR068061 and by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs through the office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) under award number W81XWH-15-1-0239. The content of the work is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the Department of Defense.