Research

Scientists have been able to reverse the development of osteoporosis

Musculoskeletal Diseasesapparatus, often lead to the fact that people to one degree or another lose the ability to move normally. One of the most common such diseases is osteoporosis. This disease causes changes in bone tissue, causing bones to become brittle and brittle. These changes are considered irreversible. Rather, they were considered such, because recently a group of scientists from Duke University was able to reverse the course of osteoporosis.

In the photo of Shini Vargese. One of the scientists who discovered a method for treating osteoporosis

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease associated withcalcium loss against a background of a general decrease in vitamin D in the body. Most often, it develops in the elderly. Due to a decrease in calcium, bones become more fragile and easily damaged. Osteoporosis often causes fractures to the bones of the thigh, forearm, and also vertebrae and other bones.

On the left is a normal bone. On the right is a bone developed as a result of osteoporosis.

How to cure osteoporosis

At the moment, all drugs for treatmentThis disease is aimed at maintaining the patient's condition and relieving symptoms. That is, to increase the content of calcium and vitamin D. However, scientists from Duke University in a series of studies found receptors (in this case, they are called A2B adenosine receptors), the activation of which not only stops, but also reverses the deterioration of bone condition.

Most commonly used drugs fortreatments for osteoporosis can prevent further bone loss, but they do not help restore the bone itself, ”said one of the authors of the work, Shini Vargese, professor of biomedical engineering and orthopedics. We found a biochemical receptor that, when activated, can do both.

Back in 2014, Mr. Vargese studiedthe effect of calcium phosphate on the process of bone tissue regeneration. He found that adenosine acting on the A2B receptor plays a particularly important role in stimulating bone growth. After that, it was decided to study the operation of this system in more detail. In further experiments, the research team studied a population of mice that artificially caused the development of osteoporosis.

This is interesting: Does excessive consumption of coffee cause osteoporosis?

Experts measured the expression levels of twoenzymes that help produce adenosine, as well as levels of adenosine in cells and in the extracellular space. Scientists then tested whether an increase in adenosine levels in mice would help reverse the damaging effects of the disease. But instead of pumping adenosine into the body of rodents, they injected them with a drug containing a molecule developed by the pharmaceutical company Bayer. This molecule activates the A2B receptor, which causes the production of adenosine inside the body.

The mice that received the drug recovered completely, scientists said. Moreover, their bones were in the same condition as the control group of rodents, which did not suffer from osteoporosis.

While identifying a pharmaceutical target,able to reverse osteoporosis is a very important discovery, the creation of a drug that can activate its production without side effects is a difficult task. We must not forget that adenosine is produced naturally and plays an important role in a wide variety of vital processes. From the work of neurons to the regulation of blood vessels.

Therefore, despite significant success inWhen creating a medicine, scientists currently need to find a way to deliver the drug and activate adenosine receptors directly in the bone tissue. At the moment, the research team is looking for such ways. And as soon as they succeed, it will be possible to talk about the beginning of clinical trials involving people.