Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) discovered a new method of bone formation in patients suffering from bone loss with the help of stem cells. The study is published June 12, 2015 in the journal Nature Communications.
The work of American scientists has focused on the protein PPARγ (known as the primary regulator of fat formation) and its effect on the further development of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) of the bone marrow. MSCs have several potentially important therapeutic applications, as they are able to develop into several types of cells – connective tissue, fat, bone and cartilage.
It is known that PPARγ partial loss in genetically modified mice leads to increased bone formation. The scientists decided to create a drug that is able to inhibit the biological activity of PPARγ.
The results showed that when human mesenchymal stem cells were treated with the new compound, which they called SR2595 (SR=Scripps Research), there was a statistically significant increase in osteoblast formation, a cell type known to form bone.
Our findings demonstrate for the first time a new therapeutic application for drugs targeting PPARy, which has been the focus of efforts to develop insulin sensitizers to treat type 2 diabetes. We have already demonstrated SR2595 has suitable properties for testing in mice; the next step is to perform an in-depth analysis of the drug’s efficacy in animal models of bone loss, aging, obesity and diabetes.” said Patrick Griffin, chair of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics and director of the Translational Research Institute at Scripps Florida.
In addition to identifying a potential new therapeutic for bone loss, the new method can have wider clinical use.
“PPARγ is so closely related to several proteins with known roles in disease. Potentially apply these structural insights to design new compounds for a variety of therapeutic applications.” said David P. Marciano, first author of the study.