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BMB Rep. 2010 Aug;43(8):524-9.

New understanding of glucocorticoid action in bone cells.

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Skeletal Diseases Genome Research Center, Department of Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu 700-422, Korea.


Glucocorticoids (GCs) are useful drugs for the treatment of various diseases, but their use for prolonged periods can cause severe side effects such as osteoporosis. GCs have a direct effect on bone cells, where they can arrest bone formation, in part through the inhibition of osteoblast. On the other hand, GCs potently suppress osteoclast resorptive activity by disrupting its cytoskeleton based on the inhibition of RhoA, Rac and Vav3 in response to macrophage colony-stimulating factor. GCs also interfere with microtubule distribution and stability, which are critical for cytoskeletal organization in osteoclasts. Thus, GCs inhibit microtubule-dependent cytoskeletal organization in osteoclasts, which, in the context of bone remodeling, further dampens bone formation.

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