The role of bone marrow adipocytes in bone metastasis.
Morris EV., Edwards CM.
Adipocytes are a significant component of the bone marrow microenvironment. Although bone marrow adipocytes were first identified more than 100 years ago, it is only in recent years that an understanding of their complex physiological role is emerging. Bone marrow adipocytes act as local regulators of skeletal biology and homeostasis, with recent studies suggesting that marrow adipose tissue is metabolically active, and can function as an endocrine organ. As such, bone marrow adipocytes have the potential to interact with tumour cells, influencing both tumour growth and bone disease. This review discusses the current evidence for the role of bone marrow adipocytes in tumour growth within the bone marrow microenvironment and the development of the associated bone disease.