Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brain plays key role in regulating bone density

25.08.2005



The brain plays an important role in the maintenance of proper bone density, researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have revealed.

The results of this research, involving a study of the activity of the protein interleukin 1 in the brain, comprise not only a breakthrough in understanding the regulation of bone density by the brain but also hold promise for the development of future treatment for osteoporosis, say the researchers. An article about their work appears in the current online edition of the prestigious American journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Hebrew University research project is headed by Prof. Itai Bab of the Bone Laboratory, working in cooperation with Prof. Raz Yirmiya of the Department of Psychology, Prof. Esther Shahami of the of the Laboratory for the Study of Brain Trauma, Ph.D. students Alon Bagin and Inbal Goshen and master’s degree student Sharon Feldman.



Osteoporosis is the most widespread, degenerative disease in the Western world. It is characterized by loss of bone density and consequent structural weakening of the skeleton. Osteoporosis sufferers are highly susceptible to fractures, in some cases leading to severe physical disability and complications that can even end in death.

In humans and other vertebrates, one-tenth of the bone tissue is involved in an “exchange” process of continuous bone loss and generation. In adult humans and other mammals, this process is balanced; that is, the amount of bone tissue that is generated is equal to that which is lost, thus preserving bone density. With age, this balance is disrupted, and the amount of bone tissue that is lost is greater than that which is created, with the result that bone density declines and bone structure is impaired.

The interleukin 1 protein has been known for many years as a stimulator of the immune system. In the skeleton the protein causes an increase in the number and activity of osteoclastic cells – the cells which break down bone tissue and which develop from the same cells as those of the immune system.

By experimenting with genetically engineered laboratory mice whose ability to react to interleukin 1 was controlled, the Hebrew University researchers were able to demonstrate that the proper loss/generation balance in bone tissue is regulated by the level of activity of interleukin 1 in the brain. A normal, optimal level of interleukin 1 activity in the brain is required to protect bone density by impeding bone tissue breakdown, say the scientists.

“The connection between the brain and the bone structure is a new area of research about which very little is known,” said Prof Bab. “These new findings from our laboratories at the Hebrew University regarding the action of interleukin 1 on the breakdown of bone tissue indicate a complex neural system controlling bone structure and point the way towards new revelations in the near future in this area.”

The research was conducted within the framework of a project directed at clarifying the connection between the brain, behavior and changes in skeletal structure. The research was funded by the Bikura [First] Program of the Israel Science Foundation, which supports pioneering, innovative, interdisciplinary initiatives.

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

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Programming cells with computer-like logic
27.07.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics
27.07.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>