Controlling bone formation to prevent osteoporosis

Sep 27, 2010

Aging disrupts the balance between bone formation and bone destruction, resulting in osteoporosis, which is characterized by reduced bone mass and increased risk of fracture. Recent data have suggested that this imbalance is a result of a decrease in formation of bone forming osteoblast cells from mesenchymal cells upon aging. Instead, these cells form more fat cells.

Insight into this age-related switch in cell type generation has now been provided by a team of researchers, led by Hiroshi Takayanagi, at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan, working in mice. The data generated might provide new avenues of research for those developing approaches to treat age-related osteoporosis.

In the study, the gene regulatory protein Maf was found to promote mesenchymal cell generation of osteoblasts and suppress their generation of . Consistent with this, mice lacking Maf showed delayed . Furthermore, Maf levels were found to decrease in mouse mesenchymal cells upon aging and to be reduced by increased , something that occurs upon aging. Both the authors and, in an accompanying commentary, Laurie McCauley, at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, believe these data could lead to new approaches to treat age-related osteoporosis.

Explore further: Goat to be cloned to treat rare genetic disorder

More information: View this article at: www.jci.org/articles/view/44786?key=e9e9d82df06ab0518231

Provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Turning on adult stem cells may help repair bone

Jan 25, 2008

The use of a drug to activate stem cells that differentiate into bone appears to cause regeneration of bone tissue and be may be a potential treatment strategy for osteoporosis, according to a report in the February 2008 ...

New cause of osteoporosis: Mutation in a miroRNA

Nov 16, 2009

Many biological processes are controlled by small molecules known as microRNAs, which work by suppressing the expression of specific sets of genes. Xiang-Hang Luo and colleagues, at Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South ...

Anorexics found to have excess fat-- in their bone marrow

Feb 09, 2010

Boston, Mass.-- People with anorexia nervosa, paradoxically, have strikingly high levels of fat within their bone marrow, report researchers at Children's Hospital Boston. Their findings, based on MRI imaging of the knees ...

Recommended for you

Gate for bacterial toxins found

6 hours ago

Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.