Monday, December 3, 2001
Tumor necrosis factors have been known to be implicated in osteoporosis
for several years, but the specific pathways by which TNF works in the disease are being
elucidated only just now. A paper published in the latest Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences establishes the role of TNF produced by T cells in osteoporosis.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis looked at the
interaction of this TNF with one of its receptors in mice, tying estrogen deficiency to
osteoporosis via this pathway. The data showed ovariectomized mice had increased T
cell-derived TNF in the bone marrow, leading to rapid bone loss. In contrast,
ovariectomized TNF-deficient mice were protected against bone resorption and bone loss.