Monday July 16, 2018

Scientists discover new treatment for bone loss

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New York: Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), Florida, have developed a method to manipulate a protein that could result in the development of new bone-forming cells in patients suffering from bone loss.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, focused on a protein called PPARy (known as the master regulator of fat) and its impact on the fate of stem cells derived from bone marrow (mesenchymal stem cells).

Since these mesenchymal stem cells can develop into several different cell types — including fat, connective tissues, bone and cartilage — they have a number of potentially important therapeutic applications.

The scientists knew that a partial loss of PPARy in a genetically modified mouse model led to increased bone formation.

To see if they could mimic that effect using a drug candidate, the researchers designed a new compound that could repress the biological activity of PPARy.

The results showed that when human mesenchymal stem cells were treated with the new compound, which they called SR2595, there was a statistically significant increase in osteoblast formation, a cell type known to form bone.

“These findings demonstrate for the first time a new therapeutic application for drugs targeting PPARy, which has been the focus of efforts to develop insulin sensitisers to treat type 2 diabetes,” said Patrick Griffin, director of the Translational Research Institute at Scripps Florida.

“We have already demonstrated SR2595 has suitable properties for testing in mice. The next step is to perform an in-depth analysis of the drug’s efficacy in animal models of bone loss, ageing, obesity and diabetes,” Griffin added.

In addition to identifying a potential new therapeutic for bone loss, the study may have even broader implications.

“Because PPARG is so closely related to several proteins with known roles in disease, we can potentially apply these structural insights to design new compounds for a variety of therapeutic applications,” said David P. Marciano, first author of the study. (IANS)

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Probiotics Can Halve Risk of Bone Loss in Elderly Women

Worldwide, one in three women over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will one in five men over the same age

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Probiotics Can Halve Risk of Bone Loss in Elderly Women
Probiotics Can Halve Risk of Bone Loss in Elderly Women. (IANS)

Apart from keeping your gut healthy, consuming a diet rich in probiotics — also called as “good” or “helpful” bacteria — may cut the risk of osteoporosis, an age-related bone loss condition that causes fractures among one in three women over age 50 worldwide, finds a study.

In the study, older women who received probiotics, the risk of bone loss was halved compared to women who received only a placebo.

“Older women are at risk the most of osteoporosis and fractures. Treatment with probiotics can be an effective and safe way to prevent the onset of osteoporosis in many older people in the future,” said Mattias Lorentzon, Professor at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Brittleness of the bones, or osteoporosis, is characterised by porous and weak bones, which can cause them to break even when subjected to low loads, such as a fall from a standing height.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, the condition causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every three seconds.

bone loss
Representational image.

Worldwide, one in three women over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will one in five men over the same age.

The findings, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, also opens the door to a new way to prevent fractures among the elderly.

For the study, the team ingested a powder that contained either Lactobacillus reuteri 6475 bacteria — health-promoting bacteria — or a placebo every day for a whole year in nearly 100 elderly women, 76 years old on average.

Also Read: Probiotics Not Effective in Reducing Anxiety: Study

The women who received the powder with active bacteria had lost only half as much bone in the skeleton compared with those who received inactive powders.

“Another positive outcome from the study was that the treatment was well tolerated and did not produce more side effects than those experienced by women who received the placebo,” the researchers noted. (IANS)

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