Compounds identified that stimulate bone regrowth
The old saying goes, “I can feel it in my bones”. But when it comes to osteoporosis, most people can't feel it until a seemingly minor bump or fall causes their brittle bones to fracture. Currently, osteoporosis is treated by preventing further bone breakdown. Now researchers investigate whether bone could be rebuilt using specific peptides (short bits of proteins). Bone-building cells arise from osteogenic progenitor cells. So the team screened for peptides that bound to these cells and triggered their maturation into bone-building cells. The winners were YLL3 and YLL8. These peptides were injected into normal mice and mice mimicking osteoporosis. In both cases, bone strength, bone formation and bone mass increased, as revealed by comparing micro-CT images of porous bones (pictured) in normal mice injected with saline (left), YLL3 (middle) or YLL8 (right). More research is now needed to investigate the potential of these peptides as osteoporosis therapies.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.