Also protects against bone loss from aging or lack of estrogen
Leaping tall buildings in a single bound may be out of the question, but the genetically engineered "supermice" in Ormond MacDougalds laboratory at the University of Michigan Medical School are definitely stronger than average. With bone mass up to four times greater than ordinary mice, these research animals could hold the secret to new drugs for preventing or treating osteoporosis and other human diseases.
The secret appears to be a secreted signaling protein called Wnt10b. Known to inhibit the development of adipose tissue in mice, Wnt10b also stimulates the growth of bone cells, according to a new study that will be published February 21 in the Online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "High levels of Wnt10b expression in bone marrow directly increased bone mass and density in our experimental mice," says Ormond A. MacDougald, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular and integrative physiology in the U-M Medical School. "This is the first identification of a specific signaling protein in the Wnt family that regulates bone formation."
Sally Pobojewski | EurekAlert!
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