Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers On The Path To Building Bone

Date:
February 2, 2007
Source:
University Of Alabama At Birmingham
Summary:
University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have developed a method to increase bone density in mice, a development that might have future benefit for humans in the treatment of osteoporosis and bone fracture.

UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) researchers have developed a method to increase bone density in mice, a development that might have future benefit for humans in the treatment of osteoporosis and bone fracture. The research, published in the Jan. 29 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involves manipulation of the Pten gene, which contributes to the process by which cells die, known as apoptosis.

"Bone density can increase either because more bone cells divide or fewer cells die due to apoptosis. Pten is a tumor suppressor gene that applies a break on the main cell survival pathway, causing cells to die," said Thomas L. Clemens, Ph.D., professor of pathology and director of the UAB Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology. "We devised a way to remove the Pten break in bone cells, allowing the cells to stay alive and active for a longer period of time."

Clemens, a scientist in the UAB Center for Metabolic Bone Disease, and his colleagues disrupted Pten in bone cells called osteoblasts in mice. The mice with Pten disruption, while normal sized, had dramatic and progressively increasing bone density throughout life compared to controls.

"In the mice without Pten, osteoblast cells survived longer and continued to make new bone long after they ordinarily would have died," Clemens said. "This increased osteoblast production led to greater bone density. If we can translate these findings to human conditions such as osteoporosis or bone fracture, we can potentially not only prevent bone loss, but actually increase bone density in humans as they age."

Humans lose bone as they age, in part because of the loss of osteoblast cells that have died, leading to conditions such as osteoporosis or its predecessor, osteopenia.

While there are medications available to treat these conditions by slowing bone loss, there are no agents that contribute to building new bone and increasing bone density after it has already been lost.

Clemens stresses that this research is in the very early stages and it could be years before treatments for human conditions would be possible.

"The key will be to find a way to selectively turn off Pten only in bone-making osteoblasts and leave other cells in the body unaffected," Clemens said. "Pten plays an important role in the body by killing cell lines that are proliferating out of control, as in tumors."

This research was sponsored by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Alabama At Birmingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Alabama At Birmingham. "Researchers On The Path To Building Bone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070130091757.htm>.
University Of Alabama At Birmingham. (2007, February 2). Researchers On The Path To Building Bone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070130091757.htm
University Of Alabama At Birmingham. "Researchers On The Path To Building Bone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070130091757.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins