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This study was designed to determine whether the use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs), a group of drugs that stimulate acetylcholine receptors and are used to treat Alzheimer's disease (AD), is associated with osteoporosis protection and inhibition of osteoclast differentiation and function. Firstly, we examined the effects of AChEIs on RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation and function with osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption assays. Next, we investigated the impacts of AChEIs on RANKL-induced nuclear factor κB and NFATc1 activation and expression of osteoclast marker proteins CA-2, CTSK and NFATc1, and dissected the MAPK signaling in osteoclasts in vitro by using luciferase assay and Western blot. Finally, we assessed the in vivo efficacy of AChEIs using an ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis mouse model, which was analyzed using microcomputed tomography, in vivo osteoclast and osteoblast parameters were assessed using histomorphometry. We found that Donepezil and Rivastigmine inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis and impaired osteoclastic bone resorption. Moreover, AChEIs reduced the RANKL-induced transcription of Nfatc1, and expression of osteoclast marker genes to varying degrees (mainly Donepezil and Rivastigmine but not Galantamine). Furthermore, AChEIs variably inhibited RANKL-induced MAPK signaling accompanied by downregulation of AChE transcription. Finally, AChEIs protected against OVX-induced bone loss mainly by inhibiting osteoclast activity. Taken together, AChEIs (mainly Donepezil and Rivastigmine) exerted a positive effect on bone protection by inhibiting osteoclast function through MAPK and NFATc1 signaling pathways through downregulating AChE. Our findings have important clinical implications that elderly patients with dementia who are at risk of developing osteoporosis may potentially benefit from therapy with the AChEI drugs. Our study may influence drug choice in those patients with both AD and osteoporosis.
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- 2 Finished
1/01/16 → 31/12/19