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The pathophysiology of immunoporosis: innovative therapeutic targets

Inflamm Res. 2021 Aug;70(8):859-875.

Background: The physiological balance between bone resorption and bone formation is now known to be mediated by a cascade of events parallel to the classic osteoblast-osteoclast interaction. Thus, osteoimmunology now encompasses the role played by other cell types, such as cytokines, lymphocytes and chemokines, in immunological responses and how they help modulate bone metabolism. All these factors have an impact on the RANK/RANKL/OPG pathway, which is the major pathway for the maturation and resorption activity of osteoclast precursor cells, responsible for osteoporosis development. Recently, immunoporosis has emerged as a new research area in osteoimmunology dedicated to the immune system's role in osteoporosis.

Methods: The first part of this review presents theoretical concepts on the factors involved in the skeletal system and osteoimmunology. Secondly, existing treatments and novel therapeutic approaches to treat osteoporosis are summarized. These were selected from to the most recent studies published on PubMed containing the term osteoporosis. All data relate to the results of in vitro and in vivo studies on the osteoimmunological system of humans, mice and rats.

Findings: Treatments for osteoporosis can be classified into two categories. They either target osteoclastogenesis inhibition (denosumab, bisphosphonates), or they aim to restore the number and function of osteoblasts (romozumab, abaloparatide). Even novel therapies, such as resolvins, gene therapy, and mesenchymal stem cell transplantation, fall within this classification system.

Conclusion: This review presents alternative pathways in the pathophysiology of osteoporosis, along with some recent therapeutic breakthroughs to restore bone homeostasis.


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