Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Skull bone may hold the key to tackling osteoporosis

Date:
December 20, 2009
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Scientists have uncovered fundamental differences between the bone which makes up the skull and the bones in our limbs, which they believe could hold the key to tackling bone weakness and fractures.

Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have uncovered fundamental differences between the bone which makes up the skull and the bones in our limbs, which they believe could hold the key to tackling bone weakness and fractures.

Related Articles


It is well know that bones in the arms and legs become weak and vulnerable to breaks when they are not maintained by weight bearing exercise. However skull bone, which bears almost no weight remains particularly resistant to breaking.

The new research published in PLoS ONE offers an explanation for this phenomenon for the first time. The researchers say that their new understanding of the differences between the two types of bone could lead to new ways to treat or prevent osteoporosis.

People who develop osteoporosis have fragile bones which are prone to breaking. The condition becomes more common as we age, especially in post-menopausal women when levels of oestrogen fall dramatically. In the over 50s it affects half of all women and a fifth of all men.

The researchers wanted to understand why the skull bones are resistant to bone thinning as they age, even in post-menopausal women.

To investigate this, they looked in detail at rat bone cells from the skull and compared them with cells from limb bone. They found differences between the appearance of the cells and how they behaved in the lab. They also noticed that treating the cells with oestrogen had a far greater effect on the cells from the limb bone.

Because the differences are so profound, the researchers believe that they are set very early on in life -- probably when the bones are still forming in the womb.

The researchers also made a detailed genetic study of the two types of bone cell. They looked at which genes were active in the two types of cell and found a startling level of difference between the two. The found a total of 1236 -- around four per cent of the genome -- were showing different levels of activity in the two types of bone cell.

Among these they found a number of genes which are known to be involved in the process of forming healthy bones.

Lead author, Dr Simon Rawlinson, Lecturer in Oral Biology at Queen Mary, University of London, explained: "This research is exciting because it tells us why our skulls remain so tough as we age compared to the bones in our arms and legs.

"Now we understand this phenomenon better, we also understand osteoporosis better. And this has opened up many new lines of research into how the disease could be treated or even prevented."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon C. F. Rawlinson, Ian J. McKay, Mandeep Ghuman, Claudia Wellmann, Paul Ryan, Saengsome Prajaneh, Gul Zaman, Francis J. Hughes, Virginia J. Kingsmill. Adult Rat Bones Maintain Distinct Regionalized Expression of Markers Associated with Their Development. PLoS ONE, 2009; 4 (12): e8358 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008358

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Skull bone may hold the key to tackling osteoporosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091219073009.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2009, December 20). Skull bone may hold the key to tackling osteoporosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091219073009.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Skull bone may hold the key to tackling osteoporosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091219073009.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 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