Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The bone and beyond

'Dem bones' are made for more than walking

Bone is an endocrine organ that reaches out to other tissues, orchestrating responses that may have a role in pathology and physiology at distant sites. In 'Bench to Bedside', L. Darryl Quarles discusses recent studies showing how a feedback loop between the bone hormone FGF-23 and renal phosphate excretion and vitamin D metabolism is integrated with the classical PTH–vitamin D axis in chronic kidney disease (CKD). This new paradigm may change the diagnosis and treatment of disordered mineral homeostasis of people with CKD. A recent epidemiological study argues a mechanistic link between bone loss and atherosclerosis, maladies usually linked to aging. In 'Bedside to Bench', Sundeep Khosla discusses how this clinical study underpins research showing that mediators of inflammation and oxidative stress share common mechanisms that may lead to this calcium shift during aging.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Abnormalities in the FGF-23–parathyroid hormone–vitamin D endocrine network in CKD.


  1. Katsnelson, A. Nature 466, 914–915 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Quarles, L.D. J. Clin. Invest. 118, 3820–3828 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Liu, S. et al. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. 17, 1305–1315 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Saji, F. et al. Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol. 299, F1212–F1217 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Samadfam, R. et al. Endocrinology 150, 4835–4845 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Weber, T.J. et al. J. Bone Miner. Res. 18, 1227–1234 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Komaba, H. & Fukagawa, M. Kidney Int. 77, 292–298 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Gutiérrez, O. et al. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. 16, 2205–2215 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Hasegawa, H. et al. Kidney Int. 78, 975–980 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Sato, T. et al. Am. J. Kidney Dis. 44, 481–487 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Riminucci, M. et al. J. Clin. Invest. 112, 683–692 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Lavi-Moshayoff, V. et al. Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol. 299, F882–F889 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Ben-Dov, I.Z. et al. J. Clin. Invest. 117, 4003–4008 (2007).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  14. Gutierrez, O.M. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 359, 584–592 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Wetmore, J.B. et al. Clin. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. 5, 110–116 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Tsuji, K. et al. J. Bone Miner. Res. 25, 1711–1723 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to L Darryl Quarles.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

L.D.C. is a consultant to Amgen, KAI Pharmaceuticals and Shire. He has also been a paid speaker for Amgen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Quarles, L. 'Dem bones' are made for more than walking. Nat Med 17, 428–430 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing