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      Romosozumab in Postmenopausal Women with Low Bone Mineral Density

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Sclerostin is an osteocyte-derived inhibitor of osteoblast activity. The monoclonal antibody romosozumab binds to sclerostin and increases bone formation.

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          Most cited references 11

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          WNT signaling in bone homeostasis and disease: from human mutations to treatments.

          Low bone mass and strength lead to fragility fractures, for example, in elderly individuals affected by osteoporosis or children with osteogenesis imperfecta. A decade ago, rare human mutations affecting bone negatively (osteoporosis-pseudoglioma syndrome) or positively (high-bone mass phenotype, sclerosteosis and Van Buchem disease) have been identified and found to all reside in components of the canonical WNT signaling machinery. Mouse genetics confirmed the importance of canonical Wnt signaling in the regulation of bone homeostasis, with activation of the pathway leading to increased, and inhibition leading to decreased, bone mass and strength. The importance of WNT signaling for bone has also been highlighted since then in the general population in numerous genome-wide association studies. The pathway is now the target for therapeutic intervention to restore bone strength in millions of patients at risk for fracture. This paper reviews our current understanding of the mechanisms by which WNT signalng regulates bone homeostasis.
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            Increased bone density in sclerosteosis is due to the deficiency of a novel secreted protein (SOST).

            Sclerosteosis is a progressive sclerosing bone dysplasia with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. Radiologically, it is characterized by a generalized hyperostosis and sclerosis leading to a markedly thickened and sclerotic skull, with mandible, ribs, clavicles and all long bones also being affected. Due to narrowing of the foramina of the cranial nerves, facial nerve palsy, hearing loss and atrophy of the optic nerves can occur. Sclerosteosis is clinically and radiologically very similar to van Buchem disease, mainly differentiated by hand malformations and a large stature in sclerosteosis patients. By linkage analysis in one extended van Buchem family and two consanguineous sclerosteosis families we previously mapped both disease genes to the same chromosomal 17q12-q21 region, supporting the hypothesis that both conditions are caused by mutations in the same gene. After reducing the disease critical region to approximately 1 Mb, we used the positional cloning strategy to identify the SOST gene, which is mutated in sclerosteosis patients. This new gene encodes a protein with a signal peptide for secretion and a cysteine-knot motif. Two nonsense mutations and one splice site mutation were identified in sclerosteosis patients, but no mutations were found in a fourth sclerosteosis patient nor in the patients from the van Buchem family. As the three disease-causing mutations lead to loss of function of the SOST protein resulting in the formation of massive amounts of normal bone throughout life, the physiological role of SOST is most likely the suppression of bone formation. Therefore, this gene might become an important tool in the development of therapeutic strategies for osteoporosis.
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              Sclerostin antibody treatment increases bone formation, bone mass, and bone strength in a rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

              The development of bone-rebuilding anabolic agents for potential use in the treatment of bone loss conditions, such as osteoporosis, has been a long-standing goal. Genetic studies in humans and mice have shown that the secreted protein sclerostin is a key negative regulator of bone formation, although the magnitude and extent of sclerostin's role in the control of bone formation in the aging skeleton is still unclear. To study this unexplored area of sclerostin biology and to assess the pharmacologic effects of sclerostin inhibition, we used a cell culture model of bone formation to identify a sclerostin neutralizing monoclonal antibody (Scl-AbII) for testing in an aged ovariectomized rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Six-month-old female rats were ovariectomized and left untreated for 1 yr to allow for significant estrogen deficiency-induced bone loss, at which point Scl-AbII was administered for 5 wk. Scl-AbII treatment in these animals had robust anabolic effects, with marked increases in bone formation on trabecular, periosteal, endocortical, and intracortical surfaces. This not only resulted in complete reversal, at several skeletal sites, of the 1 yr of estrogen deficiency-induced bone loss, but also further increased bone mass and bone strength to levels greater than those found in non-ovariectomized control rats. Taken together, these preclinical results establish sclerostin's role as a pivotal negative regulator of bone formation in the aging skeleton and, furthermore, suggest that antibody-mediated inhibition of sclerostin represents a promising new therapeutic approach for the anabolic treatment of bone-related disorders, such as postmenopausal osteoporosis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                January 30 2014
                January 30 2014
                : 370
                : 5
                : 412-420
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa1305224
                24382002
                © 2014
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