Janet Rubin, MD, is the Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and vice chair for research in the Department of Medicine. Maya Styner, MD is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
In the article, Drs. Rubin and Styner consider how the cells responsible for remodeling skeletal structure respond to mechanical force including load magnitude, frequency, and cyclicity, and how force rearranges cellular structure in turn. They address the effects of these forces to balance the mesenchymal stem cell supply of bone-forming osteoblasts and energy storing adipocytes. That this phenotypic switching is achieved at the level of both gene transactivation and alteration of structural epigenetic controls of gene expression is considered. How this information relates to a prescriptive for exercise is also explored.