Patients with atherosclerosis are at a greater risk of osteoporosis, and a recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology—Endocrinology and Metabolism explores how the development of atherosclerosis might encourage osteoporosis.
Researchers used mice to investigate the impact of oxidized lipids on bone homeostasis and to search for underlying pathogenic pathways.
Mice fed a high-fat diet for 3 months showed increased levels of oxidized lipids in bone, and decreased femoral and vertebral trabecular and cortical bone mass, compared with mice on a normal diet.
Researchers also found that atherosclerotic mice had fewer osteoblasts. While osteoclasts numbers decreased modestly in some bones, there were significantly more osteoclasts than osteoblasts overall, favoring bone loss. The researchers also observed that atherosclerosis-induced inflammation in the bone interfered with the maturation of new osteoblast cells, which accounted for the reduction in number of osteoblasts.