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 25, 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 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. 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