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Decoded: What causes bone loss

IANS  |  New York 

The lack of a protein key to the of may be responsible for rapid and severe loss, finds a study that could lead to improved care for older adults at higher risk for and

is a necessary reaction by the immune system to protect the body from or infection, but if not controlled, it can lead to the destruction of and the prevention of formation.

The study found that when the gene needed to produce the protein tristetraprolin (TTP) is removed from healthy mice, the animals developed the bones of much older rodents.

While is known to play a major role in the regulation of inflammation, its production slows with age.

"is the brake on the system. Without it, and bone loss would go unchecked," Keith Kirkwood, at the University at in

"We don't know all of the reasons why expression decreases with age. So, understanding the factors behind its expression and relationship with bone loss is the first step toward designing therapeutic approaches," Kirkwood added.

For the study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, the team studied three groups of healthy mice: a group without the gene to express TTP, a group whose genes overexpressed TTP, and a group of unaffected mice.

The bone in the mice without the gene aged more rapidly than in the group.

At three months old, the mice had lost 14 per cent of their oral bone. By nine months, bone loss had increased to 19 per cent.

In addition to periodontitis, the mice without the gene developed arthritis, and other Levels of osteoclast -- cells that specialise in breaking down bone -- were also higher in this group.

Higher levels of TTP in the animals led to a 13 per cent reduction in bone turnover compared to unaffected mice.



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 16:24 IST