Glucose metabolism in bone

Courtney M. Karner, Fanxin Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The adult human skeleton is a multifunctional organ undergoing constant remodeling through the opposing activities of the bone-resorbing osteoclast and the bone-forming osteoblast. The exquisite balance between bone resorption and bone formation is responsible for bone homeostasis in healthy adults. However, evidence has emerged that such a balance is likely disrupted in diabetes where systemic glucose metabolism is dysregulated, resulting in increased bone frailty and osteoporotic fractures. These findings therefore underscore the significance of understanding the role and regulation of glucose metabolism in bone under both normal and pathological conditions. Recent studies have shed new light on the metabolic plasticity and the critical functions of glucose metabolism during osteoclast and osteoblast differentiation. Moreover, these studies have begun to identify intersections between glucose metabolism and the growth factors and transcription factors previously known to regulate osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Here we summarize the current knowledge in the nascent field, and suggest that a fundamental understanding of glucose metabolic pathways in the critical bone cell types may open new avenues for developing novel bone therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-7
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone
  • Diabetes
  • Glucose
  • Glycolysis
  • Metabolism
  • Mitochondria
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteoclast
  • Osteoporosis
  • Oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology


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