Neurosciences, orthopaedics and cardiac health are the building blocks to a healthy body. These specialties operate the control centre (brain), the structure (skeletal system) and the engine (heart) of our bodies. This winter Mater is shining a spotlight on the specialists and services that help our bodies stay healthy, strong and active.
Almost 2 million Australians are believed to have an osteoporosis-related condition, with one in two women over 60 and one in five men likely to suffer a fracture related to osteoporosis.
Scientists at Mater Research and The University of Queensland have recently identified a potential treatment to enhance the healing of fractures among osteoporosis sufferers.
Osteoporosis causes the weakening and thinning of bones, and osteoporosis fractures, especially of the hip, are known to triple the mortality rate among women and double the rate among men.
The study, which was led by Professor Allison Pettit, Director of Biomedical Research at Mater Research and Bones and Immunology Group Leader, found that specialised immune cells that reside in bone – osteal macrophages – can promote the formation of new bone and allow fractures to heal normally.
“The risk of fragility fractures starts to dramatically increase from the age of 50 and the consequences can be very serious,” Prof Pettit said.
“Up to half of fragility fractures fail to heal normally, even with the optimal care, and that typically leads to a loss of independent living and a higher risk of mortality.
“There are currently no broadly applicable therapeutics that can be used to enhance the healing of complex fractures or overcome failed repair of fragility fractures – but this research has exposed a promising therapeutic strategy to reduce the impact of osteoporotic fracture.
“This discovery has the potential to help those with osteoporosis recover from fractures and continue to lead active and independent lives.”
The team’s research found that osteal macrophages promote the formation of bone and play a critical role in supporting the complex biological processes that occur to achieve fracture healing.
The team then investigated whether enhancing the number of macrophages and their function could improve fracture healing outcomes.
Researchers used an experimental biologic drug to increase macrophage number and function –resulting in enhanced healing in both healthy bones and fragility fractures.
“Further research is needed to continue to translate this discovery from preclinical models to human patients, but we have provided proof-of-concept that this is an effective therapy to promote bone regeneration in both healthy and osteoporotic fractures,” Prof Pettit said.
The study paper, Treatment with a long-acting chimeric CSFI1 molecule enhances fracture healing of healthy and osteoporotic bones, was published in the journal Biomaterials in 2021. The research was supported by Mater Foundation, the National Health and Medical Research Council, The University of Queensland and Australian Research Council and was conducted at the Translational Research Institute (TRI) in Wolloongabba, Brisbane.
/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.