New research holds promise for development of novel osteoporosis drug

October 5th, 2010 - 3:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Oct 5 (ANI): Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered a group of substances in the body that play a key role in controlling bone density.

On the basis of their discovery, they have begun development of a drug for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and other bone disorders.

Osteoporosis is the most widespread degenerative disease in the Western world and is expressed in the loss of bone mass and the weakening of bone structure, contributing to frequent bone fractures, disability and even death.

In their current research, the researchers found that the bone cells produce a series of substances composed of fatty acids and amino acids called “acyl amides.”

They then analyzed their precise chemical composition, created synthetic versions of them, and examined their effect on bone cell cultures.

In experiments on mice, they discovered that one of the compounds in the group of synthetic materials, oleoyl serine, increased bone density in both healthy and osteoporotic mice.

They also found that the osteoporotic mice were actually missing the oleoyl serine in their bones.

According to the researchers the findings can serve as the basis for new drugs that can both prevent bone loss and boost bone formation and in this way reverse loss of bone tissue in osteoporosis patients.

Prof. Mechoulam expressed confidence that their work showing bone mass accumulation would lead soon to the development of an effective osteoporosis drug.

The findings have just been published in the American journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). (ANI)

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