, Volume 68, Issue 7, pp 1013-1018
Date: 09 Feb 2012

Bisphosphonates: effects on osteoblast

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Abstract

Purpose

Bisphosphonates are synthetic analogues of pyrophosphate usually used in treating bone disorders such as osteoporosis, Paget’s disease, fibrous dysplasia, hypercalcemia of malignancy, and inflammation-related bone loss. Though therapeutic effects of bisphosphonates depend primarily on their inhibitory effect on osteoclasts, increasing attention is being given to other effector cells, such as osteoblasts. This review focuses on the presumed effect of bisphosphonates on osteoblasts.

Methods

A review of the literature was conducted to evaluate the pharmacodynamic effects of bisphosphonates including inhibition of osteoclasts and apoptosis of osteocytes and osteoblasts as well as their potential stimulatory effects on the proliferation of osteoblasts.

Results

Studies have demonstrated that bisphosphonates may stimulate proliferation of osteoblasts and inhibit apoptosis of osteocytes and osteoblasts.

Conclusion

Considering that osteoblasts may be involved in bone disorders, such as osteoporosis, osteopetrosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, and Paget’s disease, and that bisphosphonates may stimulate proliferation of osteoblasts and inhibit apoptosis of osteocytes and osteoblasts, it is conceivable that a role for bisphosphonates exists in these diseases beyond merely the osteoclast influence.