Maya Styner, MD, and Janet Rubin, MD recently contributed to an article in Nature Reviews that considers how leveraging cell mechanosensitivity from exercise may help combat osteoporosis and obesity.

Maya Styner, MD, is an assistant professor in Medicine's Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Dr. Maya Styner

The article recognizes that key regulatory signals are generated during exercise which are mechanical in nature and considers how signals arise from the activity, first perceived by the cell population and then how the cells respond to them, with particular emphasis on the musculoskeletal and adipose systems. In addition, the article looks at how metabolic and genetic disorders, as well as aging, can disrupt this process, and how surrogates for exercise might serve to treat these conditions.

Dr. Janet Rubin

Understanding how exercise-induced mechanical signals can be used to improve bone quality, while decreasing fat mass and metabolic dysfunction, could lead to new strategies to treat chronic diseases such as osteoporosis and obesity.

Dr. Styner is assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology and metabolism, with research activities that focus on the relationship between bone health and metabolic health. Dr. Rubin is the Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the division of endocrinology and metabolism, and vice chair of research for the department of medicine. Rubin specializes in osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. Her research investigates the controls over bone remodeling, in particular exercise and mechanical force effects on the cell cytoskeleton.

Both provide endocrinology care at the UNC Hospitals Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic at Meadowmont.

Other authors included Gabriel M. Pagnotti, Gunes Uzer, Vihitaben S. Patel, Laura E. Wright, Kirsten K. Ness, Theresa A. Guise, and Clinton T. Rubin.

Read the article in Nature Reviews.