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Dual Action Antibody Reverses Menopausal Bone Loss

Last Updated: August 23, 2012.

An antibody can reverse bone loss in menopausal mice by both blocking bone breakdown and stimulating bone formation, according to an experimental study published online Aug. 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- An antibody can reverse bone loss in menopausal mice by both blocking bone breakdown and stimulating bone formation, according to an experimental study published online Aug. 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Building on previous results showing that follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) directly stimulates bone loss by osteoclasts, bypassing the estrogen pathway, Ling-Ling Zhu, from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues tested the ability of a polyclonal antibody to a peptide sequence within the receptor-binding domain of the FSH β-subunit to block osteoclast formation in ovariectomized mice, a model of menopause.

The researchers found that the FSH antibody bound FSH specifically, and, in vitro, prevented its action on osteoclast formation. When injected into mice, FSH antibody reduced bone loss by inhibiting bone resorption and, unexpectedly, stimulating bone formation. Mesenchymal cells from the treated mice had increased osteoblast precursor colony counts, and further experiments showed that mesenchymal cells contained receptors for FSH.

"Overall, the data prompt the future development of an FSH-blocking agent as a means of uncoupling bone formation and bone resorption to a therapeutic advantage in humans," Zhu and colleagues conclude.

One author is a named inventor on a patent application related to osteoclastic bone resorption.

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