Hormone infusion an alternative treatment for osteoporosis

April 15, 2022
Hormone infusion an alternative treatment for osteoporosis

A naturally occurring hormone has been found to promote human bone activity and may be a more effective osteoporosis solution. Osteoporosis is characterised by the deterioration of bone tissue as we age, resulting in weak, brittle bones. Researchers from Imperial College London discovered a hormone called kisspeptin which increases the activity of bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) in the body, potentially reversing osteoporosis.

An experiment saw 26 healthy men, aged 18 to 36 years old, receiving a 90-minute infusion of kisspeptin after which bone activity markers increased by 24%, compared to a placebo. At the same time, a secondary in vitro experiment where bone cells were treated with kisspeptin showed increased activity of osteoblasts, while inhibiting the activity of osteoclasts, or bone-destroying cells.

[While osteoclasts ordinarily serve a beneficial function, they simply weaken the bones when they outnumber the osteoblasts.]

The prospect of an alternative and more tolerable osteoporosis treatment is exciting.

Dr. Alexander Comninos, Consultant Endocrinologist and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction at Imperial College London, said: “Most existing treatments we have for osteoporosis tend to eventually either inhibit both types of bone cells, or increase activity in both types of bone cells, because of the way the cells communicate. But with our laboratory study, kisspeptin appears to increase bone-forming activity and at the same time inhibit the bone-destroying activity. This “de-linking” effect means kisspeptin could have a distinct benefit as a potential treatment, if this is confirmed in future studies.”

The results obtained from the kisspeptin infusion study is also independent of any side effects on reproductive hormones – the male participants’ testosterone levels were unchanged during the study period, Dr. Comninos added.

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