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Biosci Rep. 2012 Dec;32(6):511-9. doi: 10.1042/BSR20110118.

Mechanisms of bone anabolism regulated by statins.

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Institute of Orthopedics, The Second Hospital, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China.


Osteoporosis is a common disease in the elderly population. The progress of this disease results in the reduction of bone mass and can increase the incidence of fractures. Drugs presently used clinically can block the aggravation of this disease. However, these drugs cannot increase the bone mass and may result in certain side effects. Statins, also known as HMG-CoA (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA) reductase inhibitors, have been widely prescribed for CVD (cardiovascular disease) for decades. Nonetheless, several studies have demonstrated that statins exert bone anabolic effect and may be helpful for the treatment of osteoporosis. Several experiments have analysed the mechanisms of bone anabolism regulated by statins. In the present paper, we review the mechanisms of promoting osteogenesis, suppressing osteoblast apoptosis and inhibiting osteoclastogenesis.

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