Research ArticleHEALTH AND MEDICINE

In silico experiments of bone remodeling explore metabolic diseases and their drug treatment

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  06 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 10, eaax0938
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax0938

Abstract

Bone structure and function are maintained by well-regulated bone metabolism and remodeling. Although the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms are now being understood, physiological and pathological states of bone are still difficult to predict due to the complexity of intercellular signaling. We have now developed a novel in silico experimental platform, V-Bone, to integratively explore bone remodeling by linking complex microscopic molecular/cellular interactions to macroscopic tissue/organ adaptations. Mechano-biochemical couplings modeled in V-Bone relate bone adaptation to mechanical loading and reproduce metabolic bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteopetrosis. V-Bone also enables in silico perturbation on a specific signaling molecule to observe bone metabolic dynamics over time. We also demonstrate that this platform provides a powerful way to predict in silico therapeutic effects of drugs against metabolic bone diseases. We anticipate that these in silico experiments will substantially accelerate research into bone metabolism and remodeling.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances