Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: It Takes Guts To Build Bone, Scientists Discover

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Someplace between Nowhere and Goodbye
    Posts
    12,961

    It Takes Guts To Build Bone, Scientists Discover

    It Takes Guts To Build Bone, Scientists Discover

    Bone growth is controlled in the gut through serotonin, the same naturally present chemical used by the brain to influence mood, appetite and sleep, according to a new discovery from researchers at Columbia University Medical Center. Until now, the skeleton was thought to control bone growth, and serotonin was primarily known as a neurotransmitter acting in the brain. This new insight could transform how osteoporosis is treated in the future by giving doctors a way to increase bone mass, not just slow its loss.

    Researchers have known that 95 percent of the body's serotonin is produced by a part of the gastrointestinal tract known as the duodenum, where it was presumed to be involved in digestion. The brain is where the remaining five percent of the body's serotonin is produced.

    The Columbia research group, led by Gerard Karsenty, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, had originally set out to elucidate two rare human diseases affecting bone that are both caused by a mutation in a gene called Lrp5. To their surprise, Dr. Karsenty and his team found that Lrp5 regulates synthesis of serotonin in the gut, and that by turning on or turning off the production of this chemical within the gut, they could control bone formation. Specifically, they found that serotonin tells cells in the skeleton to slow production of new bone. By turning off the intestine's release of serotonin, the team was able to prevent osteoporosis in mice undergoing menopause.

    "This proof-of-principle paper shows, to our amazement, that bone formation is regulated to a significant extent by the gut! Through our observations of two rare and severe forms of osteoporosis, one that causes drastic bone loss and one that causes extremely high bone mass, we were able to see clearly what happens with over-production or under-production of serotonin," said Dr. Karsenty. "Our hope is that this novel discovery will inform the development of new therapies for the millions of people with osteoporosis."

    Challenging Fundamental Understanding of Bone Formation
    Far from being inert, bone constantly undergoes renovation, with some cells responsible for removing old material and other cells responsible for creating new bone. In humans, after age 20, the balance between bone formation and breakdown tips toward breakdown, and bone mass starts to decline. In women, the rate of decline increases after menopause, when estrogen levels drop and cells that tear down old bone become overactive. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and porous, increasing the risk of breaks. It is diagnosed when bone mass drops below a certain level.

    This discovery that intestinal serotonin is central to bone formation will likely challenge previously held beliefs among researchers in the field, who have thought for years that the majority of hormones that control bone mass had been identified.
    Hopefully post-cure this will come in handy.
    Please donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org.
    Copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by rdf View Post
    Hopefully post-cure this will come in handy.
    If confirmed, this is a major and unexpected discovery. I wonder what receptors are involved. There are many serotonin receptor blockers. These should increase bone formation. This will open up an entirely new field of bone growth stimulators. Big money.

    Wise.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ChipS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Stone Creek, Ohio
    Posts
    658
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young View Post
    If confirmed, this is a major and unexpected discovery. I wonder what receptors are involved. There are many serotonin receptor blockers. These should increase bone formation. This will open up an entirely new field of bone growth stimulators. Big money.

    Wise.
    don't bail on us now, Wise!

    This could be a good follow up after you cure this damn paralysis.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ChipS View Post
    don't bail on us now, Wise!

    This could be a good follow up after you cure this damn paralysis.
    What I tell my students is that the definition of true impact is if something important would not have happened, if you had not been there. If something would have happened anyway, whether you were there or not, then you didn't have any impact.

    In my opinion, scientists have more impact when they pursue topics and problems that are not taken on by others. On the other hand, there is a critical mass effect in science. You need a certain number of really good people working in a field because none of us are better alone.

    What this discovery really shows is the importance of serendipity. Here, these scientists were trying to find out the mechanism of a gene and found that it changed gut production of serotonin and that this is responsible for the effect of the gene on bone production.

    Wise.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-14-2004, 08:37 AM
  2. Dr Young - Osteoporosis Treatment?
    By tucker in forum Care
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-14-2004, 03:39 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-11-2003, 01:30 PM
  4. Sandia's bone of invention may ease pain
    By Leo in forum Health & Science News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-19-2003, 05:16 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-16-2003, 03:12 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •