Research Topic

Bone Marrow Adiposity: Establishing Harmonized, Mechanistic and Multidisciplinary Approaches to Reach Clinical Translation

About this Research Topic

Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA) is a long-known phenomenon that has enjoyed an upsurge of interest in both fundamental and medical sciences over the last decades. BM adipocyte expansion constitutes a “normal” physiological process starting early in childhood and progressing with aging. Yet, as reported in ...

Bone Marrow Adiposity (BMA) is a long-known phenomenon that has enjoyed an upsurge of interest in both fundamental and medical sciences over the last decades. BM adipocyte expansion constitutes a “normal” physiological process starting early in childhood and progressing with aging. Yet, as reported in clinical and pre-clinical studies, several pathological conditions (e.g. osteoporosis, anorexia nervosa, metabolic diseases including obesity and type 2 diabetes, multiple myeloma, leukemia, bone metastasis) and therapies (e.g. glucocorticoid or thiazolidinedione treatments, radiotherapy, chemotherapy) are associated with changes in BMA. Besides hormonal cues, BM adipogenesis has been shown to be regulated by local growth factors, and is thus intimately interlinked with its local micro-environment. Moreover, BM adipocytes constitute a distinct fat depot that has developmental and functional characteristics distinct from other adipose tissues; can impact on systemic metabolism; and likely varies according to the pathophysiological context. However, research on BMA remains partly hampered by the difficult access to the bone compartment, the inherent fragility of adipocytes, the difficulty to obtain populations unbiased by the extraction method, the lack of specific methods to deplete BM adipocytes and the proven heterogeneity of BMA.

Thus, a more complete, quantitative picture is now required regarding BM adipocyte progenitor populations, phenotypes, regulatory factors, interactions with their neighboring bone / BM microenvironment, and position within the systemic metabolism. Elucidating these issues will be essential to establish the proofs of concept and translate these to the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of the bone-, blood-, cancer-, or metabolism-related diseases.

Annual scientific meetings have been organized since 2015 to bring together scientists working in this new discipline. A new scientific society, the International Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS, http://bma-society.org/) was launched in Lausanne, Switzerland in August 2017 to further structure this network and promote an interdisciplinary approach to the study of this emerging tissue.

This Research Topic aims to highlight the creation of BMAS with all its related multidisciplinary research. The conference proceedings of the 4th International Meeting on BMA as well as the guidelines elaborated by the BMAS Working Groups, will be included. Indeed this Research Topic will include three reviews clarifying BMAS recommendations for nomenclature, methodological studies and biobanking, which should together pave the way for the future harmonization of the terms and protocols used in the collection and study of BM adipocytes.

Authors are welcome to submit original research articles to report new findings in technical, fundamental and clinically applied BMA research, with a particular focus on methods and results that can increase the reproducibility of the field, facilitate its multidisciplinary approach and/or open new avenues of research in BMA. Of note, original research submissions can be either submitted to the Bone Research section at “Frontiers in Endocrinology” or to the Lipid and Fatty Acid Research section within “Frontiers in Physiology”, but can all be cross-listed in both sections. A nomenclature table elaborated by the corresponding BMAS Working Group will be provided to authors for dissemination of these new guidelines.

Articles' list within this Research Topic:

1. Brief editorial putting BMA research in the general context of bone biology, metabolism, adipocyte biology, hematopoiesis, etc. (i.e., Editorial article);
2. Short BMA2017 conference proceedings with perspective on the founding of BMAS, its goals and vision (i.e., Perspective article);
3. BMA2018 conference proceedings (i.e., Review article);
4. White paper on BMA nomenclature;
5. Methodological challenges in BMA research with review of key references (i.e., Review article);
6. Challenges in biobanking for the BMA community with review of key references (i.e., Review article);
7-10. Timely original research paper submissions at the General Assembly to complete the Research Topic, with an emphasis in collaborations born thanks to BMAS (please consult our article processing charges available here: https://www.frontiersin.org/about/publishing-fees).

We acknowledge the initiation and support of this Research Topic by the Bone Marrow Adiposity Society (BMAS). Special thanks go to Prof. Olaia Naveiras who initiated this fruitful collaboration with Frontiers. Dr. Bravenboer is a member of the BMAS and contributes to the Working Group on Nomenclature and the Working Group on Methodological challenges; Dr. Lucas is a member of the BMAS and contributes to the Working Group on Biobanking; and Prof. Rosen is a member of the BMAS and contributes to the Working Group on Methodological challenges.


Keywords: Marrow Adipocyte, Fat, Lipid, Bone, Methodology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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