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Update on Statins: Hope for Osteoporotic Fracture Healing Treatment

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Fracture healing is a process of recovering injured bone tissue forms and functions. Osteoporosis can delay the healing process, which contributes to personal suffering and loss of activities. Osteoporosis patients tend to lose bone mass at the metaphyseal region which require treatment to increase bone mass. Postmenopausal osteoporosis is the most common osteoporosis that occurs in women which subsequently resulted in fractures even under slight trauma. Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT), the recommended therapy for postmenopausal osteoporosis, is associated with higher risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and cardiovascular diseases. As osteoporotic fractures are becoming a public health issue, alternative treatment is now being thoroughly explored. The potential agent is statins, the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor which is widely used for hypercholesterolemia treatment. Statins have been found to increase bone mass by stimulation of Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) expression and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) production. However, these bone forming effects were achieved at very high systemic doses. Therefore, studies on locally applied statins are required to further explore the ability of statins to stimulate bone formation at acceptable doses for better fracture healing. This review highlights the animal and clinical studies on fracture healing promotions by statins and the mechanisms involved.
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Keywords: BMP-2; Fracture healing; HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor; VEGF; osteoporosis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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