A novel secreted glycoprotein that regulates bone resorption has been identified. The protein, termed Osteoprotegerin (OPG), is a novel member of the TNF receptor superfamily. In vivo, hepatic expression of OPG in transgenic mice results in a profound yet non-lethal osteopetrosis, coincident with a decrease in later stages of osteoclast differentiation. These same effects are observed upon administration of recombinant OPG into normal mice. In vitro, osteoclast differentiation from precursor cells is blocked in a dose-dependent manner by recombinant OPG. Furthermore, OPG blocks ovariectomy-associated bone loss in rats. These data show that OPG can act as a soluble factor in the regulation of bone mass and imply a utility for OPG in the treatment of osteoporosis associated with increased osteoclast activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)