Bone loss in the elderly is a major health issue in societies with an increasingly elderly population. As of today, the most frequently applied treatment of osteoporosis consists in the inhibition of bone resorption with bisphosphonates. These compounds are bone - specific due to their P - C - P backbone and exert their cellular effects due to the chemistry of their side chains on the central carbon. Since bisphosphonates, through coupling, cause a shutdown and thus "freezing" of bone metabolism, their use in younger patients is questionable. Furthermore, while inhibition of bone resorption is efficient in the therapy of osteoporosis, anabolic agents, to restore bone mass and architecture, are scarce, to date only parathyroid hormone (PTH) is available, at considerable cost. Furthermore, it is well known that the application of PTH is restricted to the period of the so-called "anabolic window", when bone formation is high while resorption is still low. It is therefore of upmost importance to identify new targets in bone cells that eventually may open the door to new therapeutic strategies.
University of Bern, Department Clinical Research
|Xie Wenjie (Ph.D. Student)
Hofstetter Wilhelm (PI)