Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hebrew University research holds promise for development of new osteoporosis drug

05.10.2010
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered a group of substances in the body that play a key role in controlling bone density, and on this basis they have begun development of a drug for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and other bone disorders.

The findings of the Hebrew University researchers have just been published in the American journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

The research group working on the project is headed by Prof. Itai Bab of the Bone Laboratory and Prof. Raphael Mechoulam of the Institute of Drug Research at the Hebrew University, and includes post-doctoral fellow Reem Smoum and doctoral students Gary Millman, Orr Ofek, Alon Bajayo, Joseph Tam, Vardit Kram and associates from the United States.

Osteoporosis is the most widespread degenerative disease in the Western world and is expressed in the loss of bone mass and the weakening of bone structure, contributing to frequent bone fractures, disability and even death. The loss of bone mass in osteoporosis is caused by internal destruction of the bone tissue. With age, the quantity of bone tissue that is lost is greater than that which is created, which leads to the decrease in bone density.

In their current research, the researchers found that the bone cells produce a series of substances composed of fatty acids and amino acids called "acyl amides." They then analyzed their precise chemical composition, created synthetic versions of them, and examined their effect on bone cell cultures.

In experiments on mice, they discovered that one of the compounds in the group of synthetic materials, oleoyl serine, increased bone density in both healthy and osteoporotic mice. They also found that the osteoporotic mice were actually missing the oleoyl serine in their bones. These findings, say the researchers, can serve as the basis for new drugs that can both prevent bone loss and boost bone formation and in this way reverse loss of bone tissue in osteoporosis patients.

Development of such a drug has begun in the laboratories of Prof. Mechoulam and Prof. Bab. Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University, has submitted a patent application based on their work and is seeking a commercial partner for further development.

Prof. Mechoulam expressed confidence that their work showing bone mass accumulation would lead soon to the development of an effective osteoporosis drug. Drugs in use until now have worked to prevent further bone loss or to encourage bone formation, but none of them are able to accomplish both functions together as this new formula can do, said Prof. Bab.

The researchers noted that research in this field until now has been based primarily on proteins and genetics. Now, the Hebrew University researchers say, they have opened a new approach, called "skeletal lipidomics" based on the examination of substances in the skeleton containing fatty acids and amino acids. This has great significance in understanding the regulation of metabolism in bone and in other body tissues, they say.

The research has been supported by the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation and also by a grant from the US National Institutes of Health.

Jerry Barach | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.huji.ac.il

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>