Mar, 2021 - By WMR
Researchers have discovered a new type of bone marrow, which can change understanding of conditions such as osteoporosis.
By taking their microscopes to human bones, scientists in Australia have discovered a completely new type of bone marrow, which they believe could play a vital role in the development of various bone diseases. The new cell mutates many different genes, gives new light to the way bone breaks down and transforms and opens up new possibilities for the treatment of conditions such as osteoporosis.
As part of natural bone growth, specialized facial cells break down old bone cells and rebuild them. When mutations occur in this cycle and substances are discarded, conditions such as bone fragility and osteoporosis may subside, instead of the different cells involved in this process may offer new ways of intervention. Among them is a type of cell called osteoclasts, which are specialized cells that break down bone tissue and serve as the first research center at the University Of New South Wales (UNSW). They used what is known as intravital imaging technology to look inside living bone tissue, where they found that osteoclasts were actually divided into very small cells, before turning into osteoclasts again.
Following these findings, the team collaborated with scientists at Imperial College London to remove 40 of these genes from experimental models, finding that 17 of them had an effect on bone size and strength. These genes have been found to be linked to genetic variation known to play a role in bone mineral density and to develop conditions such as skeletal dysplasia, indicating the importance of the role of osteomorphs. As an example of this, the group believes that these cells may be a key factor in some of the most common complications associated with the treatment of osteoporosis denosumab.
Researchers believe that denosumab works by blocking the molecule needed to convert osteomorphs into osteoclasts, so that when patients receive treatment, they can develop osteomorphs. When treatment is stopped, there is a flood of osteoclasts, causing a sudden rupture of bone tissue.