Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crucial Hormonal Pathway To Bone Building Uncovered

Date:
November 3, 2008
Source:
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Summary:
New study shows parathyroid hormone given intermittently enhances the body's own bone-building action through a specific "co-receptor" on the surface of bone cells. Previously, PTH was known to stimulate bone formation, but the exact mechanism was unknown.

Scientists have discovered a crucial step in hormone-triggered bone growth, a finding that could lead to new osteoporosis drugs and better bone-building therapies, according to a new study.

The research was performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). It showed that parathyroid hormone (PTH) given intermittently enhances the body's own bone-building action through a specific "co-receptor" on the surface of bone cells.

Previously, PTH was known to stimulate bone formation, but the exact mechanism was unknown, the UAB researchers said. The findings are published in the journal Genes and Development.

"Our study uncovers a novel mechanism for how parathyroid hormone signaling selectively stimulates bone formation," said Xu Cao, Ph.D., UAB professor of pathology and senior author on the study. "We have identified the protein co-receptor crucial to the whole process."

The UAB researchers focused on PTH signals in mice, testing to see which cell receptors actively recruited calcium from the blood. They uncovered the one co-receptor responsible for turning on bone building, said Mei Wan, Ph.D., UAB associate professor of molecular and cellular pathology and first author on the study.

Previously, the exact mechanism of PTH-signaled bone formation was shrouded by the joint production of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, said Jay McDonald, M.D., pathology professor and director of UAB's Center for Metabolic Bone Disease. Both types of cells are instrumental in regulating a healthy skeleton – osteoblasts by forming new bone, and osteoclasts by resorbing old and brittle bone.

Many osteoporosis drugs now target both osteoblasts and osteoclasts, which can lead to zero or minimal bone formation, McDonald said.

"The ideal would be to have one drug to shut down the osteoclasts and turn on the osteoblasts to effectively build bone. We don't have that yet, but this study shows us the path to get there," he said.

FORTEO® is the only approved PTH drug for use in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, and in men with hormone-linked osteoporosis. Many experts hope the approved drug is part of the next wave of medicines that work to build back bone, reduce bone loss and minimize fracture risks in the aging.

The study was a partnership between UAB and researchers at Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School in Boston and Shihezi Medical College in Xinjiang, China. Funding came from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.


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. "Crucial Hormonal Pathway To Bone Building Uncovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081031172937.htm>.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2008, November 3). Crucial Hormonal Pathway To Bone Building Uncovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081031172937.htm
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Crucial Hormonal Pathway To Bone Building Uncovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081031172937.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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