Tuesday April 23, 2019

Researchers Find Molecular Link Between Oestrogen and Bone Ageing

In addition, Sema3A was found to promote the survival of osteocytes -- bone cells -- in these mice

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oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress
oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress. wikimedia commons

Researchers have found a new molecular link between oestrogen and bone ageing, which may eventually lead to new strategies to treat osteoporosis among post-menopausal women.

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and prone to fractures.

Women over 50 are at a high risk of developing osteoporosis, which may be due to the loss of oestrogen that occurs after menopause.

“Over the last few decades, we’ve learned that oestrogen plays an important role in maintaining a functional bone matrix,” said Tomoki Nakashima from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) in Japan.

However, how oestrogen does this, was not fully understood, the researchers said.

bone loss
Decoded: How does oestrogen protect bones? Check it out here.

In the study, the researchers discovered a protein called Sema3A, which was found to maintain bone matrix — proteins and minerals in bone — suggesting a relationship between oestrogen and Sema3A.

Further, the researchers found that blood serum levels of the protein Sema3A decreased in pre-menopausal women as they get older and dropped even more once they reach menopause.

In the study done on mice, the ovaries of mice were removed but it was found that the loss of oestrogen did not prevent their bones from deteriorating.

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In addition, Sema3A was found to promote the survival of osteocytes — bone cells — in these mice.

“We believe that as women lose oestrogen with age and Sema3A levels drop, osteocytes begin to die and bone loses the ability to maintain its supportive structure,” Mikihito Hayashi from the varsity said. (IANS)

Next Story

Exposure to Dim Light Escalates Breast Cancer’s Spread to Bones

X-ray images showed that mice exposed to a light or dim light cycle had much larger tumours and increased bone damage compared with mice kept in a standard light/dark cycle

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Exposure to dim light at night may contribute to spreading of breast cancer to bones, researchers have shown in an animal study.

When breast cancer spreads it often affects bones, cause severe pain and make them fragile. “To date no one has reported that exposure to dim light at night induces circadian disruption, which increases spread of bone metastatic breast cancer,” said Muralidharan Anbalagan, Assistant Professor, at Tulane University in New Orleans.

The findings were presented at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

For the preliminary study, the team created a mouse model of bone metastatic breast cancer. They injected oestrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells, which have a low propensity to grow in bones, into the tibia (shinbone) of female mice.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

Like humans, mice produced a strong night-time circadian melatonin signal, shown to produce strong anti-cancer actions and for promoting sleep.

While one group of mice was kept in the light for 12 hours each day, the other group of three mice in the dark for 12 hours. Another group spent 12 hours in light, followed by 12 hours in dim light at night.

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X-ray images showed that mice exposed to a light or dim light cycle had much larger tumours and increased bone damage compared with mice kept in a standard light/dark cycle, he noted.

“Our research identified the importance of an intact nocturnal circadian melatonin anti-cancer signal in suppressing bone-metastatic breast tumour growth,” Anbalagan said. (IANS)