Reversal cells may be key to osteoporosis prevention

6 June 2013

Scientists are closely examining bone cells which promote regrowth and analysing the protection they may provide against osteoporosis. These cells, appropriately named ‘reversal cells’, may hold the key to preventing bone disorders.

Healthy bones are maintained through a delicate balance of bone resorption and formation - when this balance is disrupted, disorders develop. Osteoporosis is caused by an imbalance in favour of resorption, or breakdown of bones so that they may be replaced by new growth. When reversal cells don’t compensate for the dissolution of bone cells, bones become porous and fragile.

"We therefore propose that bone loss in postmenopausal osteoporosis does not only result from a failure of bone formation as commonly believed, leading to incomplete filling of resorption cavities, but also from a failure at the reversal phase, uncoupling bone formation from resorption,” said Dr Jean-Marie Delaisse, professor of clinical cell biology at the University of Southern Denmark.

To assess your bone health, an X-ray can be used to check for fractures and infection.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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