Rickets is a softening of the bones that most commonly results from a lack of vitamin D or calcium and from insufficient exposure to sunlight.
Hypophosphatasia is a rare, heritable form of rickets caused by mutations in a gene called TNAP, which is essential for the process that causes minerals such as calcium and phosphorus to be deposited in developing bones and teeth. The physical presentations of this disorder can vary depending on the specific mutation, with more severe symptoms occurring at a younger age of onset. The most severe form of the disease occurs at birth, which can present with absence of bone mineralization in utero, resulting in stillbirth.
Using a mouse model, José Luis Millán, Ph.D. tested the hypothesis that, when administered from birth, a bone-targeted form of the TNAP gene would ease the skeletal defects of HPP. The Millán laboratory, in collaboration with scientists from Enobia Pharma in Montreal, Canada and from the Shriners Hospitals for Children in St. Louis, Missouri, created a soluble form of human TNAP that had been shown to display a strong attraction to bone tissue. Upon injecting the enzyme into the fat layer under the skin of the mice, the treated mice maintained a healthy rate of growth and apparent well being, as well as normal bone mineral density (BMD) of the skull, femur and spine. In fact, complete preservation of skeletal and dental structures were observed after 15 days, and bone lesions were still not seen after 52 days of treatment.
“While the biochemical mechanism that leads to skeletal and dental defects of HPP is now generally understood,” said Dr. Millán, “there is currently no established medical treatment.”
Given the success of this therapy in preventing HPP, current efforts in Dr. Millán’s laboratory are focused on reversing the bone defects in mice once the disease is quite advanced. Future clinical trials may reveal this as the first promising therapy for patients with this genetic disorder.
This study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Enobia Pharma, Inc., and the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Andrea Moser | newswise
At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History
New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy