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Thyroid Hormone Could One Day Treat Osteoporosis
Date:3/10/2008

Animal experiments show thyroid stimulating hormone prevented bone loss

MONDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- In experiments with rats and mice, scientists have found that thyroid stimulating hormone can prevent the bone loss associated with osteoporosis and may even restore lost bone.

The finding raises the possibility that thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) might one day provide treatment for women with severe cases of postmenopausal osteoporosis, the researchers said.

"We found that TSH, which is a hormone that was thought to be exclusively involved in the release of thyroid hormones, which are essential for the homeostasis of the body, can directly affect bone remodeling," said lead researcher Dr. Mone Zaidi, a professor of medicine and physiology and director of the Mount Sinai Bone Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

TSH inhibits the process of bone reabsorption by the body, Zaidi said. "This is a process that is fundamental for the renewal of the skeleton. Throughout life, old bone is replaced by new bone," he said. "Osteoporosis occurs when this process is exaggerated, and bone removal outpaces bone replacement."

In earlier research with mice, Zaidi's group found that TSH could actually suppress bone reabsorption. For the new study, the researchers wanted to see if TSH could stop bone reabsorption when the reabsorption rates were as high as they are in osteoporosis.

To show the benefits of TSH in preventing bone loss, Zaidi's team studied rats whose ovaries had been removed, which induced menopause-related osteoporosis. The researchers then gave the rats injections of TSH often as far apart as two weeks.

The researchers found that injections of TSH prevented bone loss and actually increased bone strength. "In addition, in rats, TSH actually restored the lost bone," Zaidi said.

The findings were published in the March 10 issue of the Proceed
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