Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 771–774 | Cite as

Type 17 T-helper cells might be a promising therapeutic target for osteoporosis

  • Feng-Lai Yuan
  • Xia Li
  • Wei-Guo Lu
  • Yi-Qing Zhao
  • Cheng-Wan Li
  • Jian-Ping Li
  • Jun-Ming Sun
  • Rui-Sheng Xu


Osteoporosis, a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, is a pressing public health problem. Recent studies have suggested a possible role of T-helper (Th) cells in the pathogenesis of bone loss which occurs in systemic inflammatory diseases. However, there are contradictions in the published literature regarding the functional role of Th1/Th2 cells in the regulation of the differentiation of osteoclasts. These paradoxes have now been clarified by the recent discovery of Th17 cells, a novel subset of Th cells that selectively secrete several proinflammatory cytokines, mainly IL-17. It has been confirmed that Th17 cells have stimulatory effects on osteoclastogenesis and accelerate bone loss in animal models with inflammatory disorders. Targeting Th17 cells or IL-17 may inhibit the bone resorption with RA. Thus, we are led to suppose that Th17 cells might be promising therapeutic targets in osteoporosis.


Type 17 T-helper cells Cytokines Osteoclasts Osteoporosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Feng-Lai Yuan
    • 1
  • Xia Li
    • 2
  • Wei-Guo Lu
    • 2
  • Yi-Qing Zhao
    • 2
  • Cheng-Wan Li
    • 2
  • Jian-Ping Li
    • 2
  • Jun-Ming Sun
    • 2
  • Rui-Sheng Xu
    • 3
  1. 1.Central Laboratory, The Third Hospital Affiliated to Nantong UniversityWuxiChina
  2. 2.The Third Hospital Affiliated to Nantong UniversityWuxiChina
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Third Hospital Affiliated to Nantong UniversityWuxiChina

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