Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Follicle-stimulating hormone may affect bone loss in menopausal women

Date:
April 26, 2010
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
New research suggests that hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone may be involved in decreasing bone mineral density during menopause.

Diminished bone density is common among menopausal women and raises their risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures and subsequent complications. Research has traditionally focused on therapies that seek to maintain the level of estrogen in the body. This hormone seems to sustain bone health, but it drops to an extremely low level during and after menopause.

However, research conducted by a team at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA suggests that another hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) may also be involved in decreasing bone mineral density during menopause. Dr. Joseph Cannon, Kellett Chair in Allied Health Sciences, presented his team's research at the American Physiological Society's Experimental Biology 2010 conference in Anaheim, April 24-28, 2010.

Increasing FSH Correlates to Decreasing Bone Density

The level of FSH gradually increases in the five years leading up to menopause, when it reaches its peak and estradiol bottoms out. Research has indicated that bone density begins to decrease over the same period of time. Also, data from animal studies indicated a link between FSH and bone density. This led Cannon and his colleagues to probe whether the increase of FSH has an effect on bone density in humans.

Bone mineral density is a balancing act between bone loss and bone growth involving two types of cells in the body: osteoclasts that break down bone, and osteoblasts that regenerate it. During menopausal bone loss, the osteoclasts' destructive activity outweighs the osteoblasts' rebuilding activity, resulting in an overall weakening of the bone.

Cytokines, which are secreted by white blood cells such as monocytes, are thought to play a role in this imbalance. One cytokine in particular, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), is known to activate osteoclasts. "Our hypothesis was that [FSH] was decreasing bone mineral density by influencing the production or action of cytokines," said Dr. Cannon.

Data in Cells Confirms Hormone's Effect in Women

To test their hypothesis, the researchers conducted a study of 36 women from 20 to 50 years old. By measuring each woman's level of FSH and then using a low-energy x-ray to analyze her bone density, the researchers saw that higher levels of FSH among the women were indeed associated with lower bone density.

These results prompted Cannon and his team to determine the effects of FSH on a cellular level. They collected blood samples from the study participants and isolated the monocytes to investigate the effect of FSH on cells outside of the body.

They discovered that the monocytes that make IL-1β have receptors for FSH. Receptors act like a lock for a key: when the key (FSH) enters the lock (receptor), the cell performs the activity coded by that key. In this case, the researchers determined that FSH stimulates the production of IL-1β if the monocytes have a sufficient number of FSH receptors.

Through further analysis, the researchers were able to confirm that blood FSH levels corresponded to blood levels of IL-1β. This suggests that both inside and outside the body, FSH stimulation of monocytes results in the production of IL-1β.

The team also compared the amount of IL-1β in the participants' blood to their bone density and saw that the higher the level of IL-1β, the lower the bone density, when other factors that control IL-1β activity were taken into account.

"Our current data suggest that if there was a way to modulate FSH receptors on cells, or some other way to modulate the ability of FSH to influence cells, the result might be a new way of treating or preventing osteoporosis," said Dr. Cannon. "These data support the possibility that controlling the actions of FSH may be a therapeutic way of dealing with osteoporosis that will work beyond the scope of treatments that have been used in the past."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Follicle-stimulating hormone may affect bone loss in menopausal women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426072117.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2010, April 26). Follicle-stimulating hormone may affect bone loss in menopausal women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426072117.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Follicle-stimulating hormone may affect bone loss in menopausal women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426072117.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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