Scientific Co-Chairs: Kathryn E. Gropp, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Pfizer, Inc., Groton, CT; Michael C. Boyle, DVM, PhD, DACVP, DABT, Amgen, Thousand Oaks, CA; and Joel R. Leininger, DVM, PhD, JRL Consulting, LLC, Chapel Hill, NC

Continuing Education Chair: Kirstin F. Barnhart, DVM, PhD, DACVP, AbbVie, Inc., North Chicago, IL

Continuing Education Co-Chair: Vimala Vemireddi, BVSc, MS, DACVP, DABT, Covance Laboratories, Inc., Ashburn, VA

Musculoskeletal System

Interpretation of the toxicologic responses of the musculoskeletal system requires familiarity with not only bone, joint, and muscle physiology and metabolism but also with potentially confounding factors of species, age, anatomic location, mechanical loading, and the special techniques needed to appropriately assess these tissues. The aim of the 2017 symposium is to provide attendees with a broad exposure to the unique challenges of the musculoskeletal system in toxicologic pathology. The symposium will kick off with a review of bone/muscle specific analysis with an emphasis on histology, followed by an overview of the bone ‘toolbox’, including biomarkers, imaging techniques, biomechanical testing, histomorphometry, the recently issued INHAND nomenclature and the impact of age on bone over time. The next session will cover the efficacy and toxicology of bone therapeutic agents, including regulatory requirements for assessment of bone safety, safety issues associated with antiresorptives and anabolics, and development challenges of therapeutics for rare bone diseases. The following sessions will review common findings due to unintended pharmacologic effects of therapeutic agents on the physis, metaphysis, and bone marrow, and a deep dive into the concept of bone as an endocrine organ, including discussions on the interrelationships of bone with energy metabolism, the immune system, FGF23, and the central and peripheral nervous systems. A session on structural approaches to bone and joint repair will include a review of the preclinical and clinical assessment of bone and joint devices, regulatory considerations, a presentation on joint tissue engineering, and an overview of models of joint damage and repair. The final session will be devoted to skeletal muscle, with presentation of the skeletal muscle ‘toolbox’ followed by an overview of biomarkers of skeletal muscle injury in rats, muscular dystrophy biomarker quantification and drug development, and models of accelerated sarcopenia. In addition to the regular daytime sessions, an evening musculoskeletal mystery slide session and a lunchtime session reviewing issues related to bone slide quality will also be offered.