Osteopetrosis is a rare genetic disorder characterized by an increase of bone mass due to defective osteoclast function. Patients typically displayed spontaneous fractures, anemia, and in the most severe forms hepatosplenomegaly and compression of cranial facial nerves leading to deafness and blindness. Osteopetrosis comprises a heterogeneous group of diseases as several forms are known with different models of inheritance and severity from asymptomatic to lethal. This review summarizes the genetic and clinical features of osteopetrosis, emphasizing how recent studies of this disease have contributed to understanding the central role of the skeleton in the whole body physiology. In particular, the interplay of bone with the stomach, insulin metabolism, male fertility, the immune system, bone marrow, and fat is described.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism