Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dental Researchers ID New Target In Fight Against Osteoporosis, Periodontitis

Date:
May 30, 2009
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Researchers have identified a promising new target in the fight against osteoporosis and periodontitis: inhibiting the activity of the NF-kB protein restores a healthy balance between bone formation and resorption. The findings could offer new hope to the millions of people who struggle with osteoporosis and periodontitis each year.

Dr. Cun-Yu Wang in the Laboratory of Molecular Signaling in the diivision of oral biology and medicine at the UCLA School of Dentistry.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles

Osteoporosis and periodontitis are common diseases whose sufferers must cope with weakness, injury and reduced function as they lose bone more quickly than it is formed. While the mechanism of bone destruction in these diseases is understood, scientists have had less information about how bone formation is impaired.

Now, researchers at the UCLA School of Dentistry, working with scientists at the University of Michigan and the University of California, San Diego, have identified a potential new focus of treatments for osteoporosis, periodontitis and similar diseases.

In a paper published May 17 in the online edition of the journal Nature Medicine, Cun-Yu Wang, who holds UCLA's No-Hee Park Endowed Chair in the dental school's division of oral biology and medicine, and colleagues suggest that inhibiting nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), a master protein that controls genes associated with inflammation and immunity, can prevent disabling bone loss by maintaining bone formation.

The findings could offer new hope to millions who struggle with osteoporosis and periodontitis each year. The National Institutes of Health estimates that in the United States alone, more than 10 million people have osteoporosis, and many more have low bone mass, putting them at risk for the disease, as well as for broken bones. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, mild to moderate periodontitis affects a majority of adults, with between 5 and 20 percent of the population suffering from a more severe stage of the disease.

The NF-κB protein, a culprit in inflammatory and immune disorders, plays a major role in both osteoporosis and periodontitis, disrupting the healthy balance of bone destruction and formation. It is this balance that Wang and his fellow scientists seek to restore, and perhaps even improve upon, by finding new ways to promote net bone accumulation.

"Most studies focus on the part that NF-κB plays in the regulation of osteoclasts — bone-resorbing cells. For the past five years, we looked closely at the effect of NF-κB on osteoblasts — bone-forming cells," said Wang, the study's principal investigator and a member of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. "We knew that NF-κB promoted resorption. What we discovered in our in vitro and in vivo studies is that this protein also inhibits new bone formation, giving us a fuller picture of its role in inflammation and immune responses."

"This landmark paper by Dr. Wang and his colleagues is not only top-notch molecular science, but it also holds promise for clinicians trying to provide the most enlightened treatment of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis," said John Adams, a UCLA professor of orthopedic surgery. "The paper shows how the molecular manipulation of a previously unsuspected pro-inflammatory pathway in the bone-forming cell, the osteoblast, can regulate the capacity of that cell to make new bone."

Many currently available treatments work to prevent further bone loss but are not able to increase bone mass. Wang's research results support the idea that a new drug that prevents the action of NF-κB in cells may represent a major therapeutic advance.

"Although it has been known for some time that inflammation inhibits bone formation, the groundbreaking work by Dr. Wang and his colleagues elucidates the critical role of NF-κB in the mechanism that underlies this phenomenon," said Philip Stashenko, a professor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and president and CEO of the Forsyth Institute, an oral health treatment and research organization. "Many drugs that block NF-κB are in development, and these findings suggest that new treatments to preserve bone in periodontitis, osteoporosis and related bone diseases are imminent."

As a next step, Wang and his research team are planning to test small molecules that inhibit the specific bone-resorption and bone-inhibition actions of NF-κB in osteoporosis and periodontitis.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chang et al. Inhibition of osteoblastic bone formation by nuclear factor-κB. Nature Medicine, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nm.1954

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Dental Researchers ID New Target In Fight Against Osteoporosis, Periodontitis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519093943.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2009, May 30). Dental Researchers ID New Target In Fight Against Osteoporosis, Periodontitis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519093943.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Dental Researchers ID New Target In Fight Against Osteoporosis, Periodontitis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519093943.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) 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:
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