b'The beauty of ourresearch program in the Department of Orthopaedics is that we have placed smart people, including faculty, post-docs, and graduate students, with complimentary An Ocy454 osteocyte fixed and immuno-labeled and -stained to visualize the nuclei (DAPI,skill sets into the shown in blue), -tubulin (Ab, shown in green), detyrosinated -tubulin (Ab, shown insandbox and let them red), and actin (SiR-actin, shown in magenta).This award-winning image was captured by Profs. Stains and Ward. create. mechanical load. The graduatenew components of how bone Joseph Stains, PhDstudent wondered if this sametranslates mechanical load into mechanical load sensing machinerybone formation, he explains, and signaling pathway couldand that opens up an array ofduring aging converge on these also be active in bone. In the sixtherapeutic possibilities. Wereshared mechano-sensing pathways weeks that he was in my lab, sayssuper excited about this work. between muscle and bone. Dr. Stains, his results were soThe team began to accumulate impressive that Chris and I wereTARGETING MUSCULOSKELETALdata that conserved changes in able to secure a small grant toFRAILTY IN AGING the cytoskeleton track with aging continue studying this question. InWhile exploring this sharedacross both muscle and bone 2017, Dr. Stains and his colleaguespathway in bone and musclein a way that would predict loss published their first foray into ourphysiology, Drs. Ward and Stainsof tissue function. The exciting idea of what the mechanism is, healso began exploring the tangentialthing about this discovery is that explains. The results of that worktopic of how this pathway isquite a few FDA approved drugs were parlayed into a $1 millionaffected during aging and the onsettarget the cytoskeleton, and, if grant from the NIH in 2018. of age-related musculoskeletalwere right, could be repurposed to Dr. Stains team continues to workfrailty. Age-dependent sarcopenia,deliver treatments for osteopenia on an array of related research.or loss of muscle mass, andand sarcopenia by targeting Targeting a part of the cytoskeletonosteopenia, loss of bone mass,the cytoskeletons role in muscle called microtubules, the team hasoccur simultaneously during aging,and bone building. Targeting been able to impact mechanicalDr. Stains explains. He believesmusculoskeletal frailty is going to load responses in animal studies.this may be because commonbe an important part of helping We have identified three or fourprocesses that occurpeople live long, healthy lives.Department of Orthopaedics 2019Annual Report29'