Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Pathway Between Gut and Liver Regulates Bone Mass

Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown biological process involving vitamin B12 and taurine that regulates the production of new bone cells.

In humans it is well known that vitamin deficiencies lead to stunted growth, but the underlying mechanisms have long been a mystery. In this study, the team was able to piece together the biological process that leads to the production of new bone by studying the offspring of mice lacking the Gastric Intrinsic Factor gene, which is active in the stomach and allows the gut to absorb vitamin B12.

"Bone cells aren't solely studied in isolation in the lab as both local and systemic factors play an important role in their function, so it's important to unpick the multitude of biological factors that can affect their proliferation," says Dr Pablo Roman-Garcia, a first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "We were amazed to find a new system that controls bone mass through a protein expressed, of all the places, in the stomach."

The researchers found that bone mass was severely reduced at eight weeks of age in the offspring of mice with vitamin B12 deficiency. Giving the mother a single injection of vitamin B12 during pregnancy was enough to prevent stunted growth and the onset of osteoporosis in the offspring. The team was surprised to find that B12-deficient mice had only one-third of the normal number of bone-creating osteoblast cells, but had no change in bone-degrading osteoclast cells.

Reducing vitamin B12 levels in bone cells in the laboratory did not affect the function of the bone-forming cells directly, while under the same conditions it affected liver cell functions profoundly. These findings suggested to researchers that the liver has an important role to play. This was confirmed when they showed that liver cells from the offspring of B12-deficient mothers were unable to produce taurine. When these mice were fed regular doses of taurine at three weeks of age, they recovered bone mass and grew normally.

"While the importance of taurine is yet to be fully understood, this research shows that vitamin B12 plays a role in regulating taurine production and that taurine plays an important role in bone formation," Dr Vidya Velagapudi, Head of the Metabolomics Unit at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland. "To date we have focussed only on vitamin B12-deficient populations, but the next stages of this research will need to confirm the connection between vitamin B12, taurine and bone formation in general populations."

While the focus of this study was the impact of maternal vitamin B12 deficiency on offspring in mouse models, there are promising parallels between these findings and data from human patients. Samples collected by Kocaeli University Hospital, Turkey from children born of nutritionally vitamin B12-deficient mothers also showed a significant decrease in levels of vitamin B12 and taurine. In addition, older patients with vitamin B12 deficiency from a study by the Institute for Molecular Medicine, Finland displayed a statistically positive correlation, suggesting that vitamin B12 plays a key role in regulating taurine synthesis and bone formation in humans of all ages.

"The discovery of this unanticipated pathway between gut, liver and bone would not have been possible without the use of mouse molecular genetics and studies in the clinic that allowed us to understand interactions between these organs," says Dr Vijay K Yadav, a senior author from the Sanger Institute. "The fact that the vitamin B12-taurine-bone pathway affects only bone formation and appears to play the same role in mice and human beings raises the prospect that targeting this pathway through pharmacological means could be a novel approach toward an anabolic treatment of osteoporosis".


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Normal Skin Accrues High Number of Mutations Associated with Cancer
Researchers used genomic sequencing to gain insights into how somatic mutations build up in normal cells before the onset of cancer, a process that is poorly understood.
Friday, May 22, 2015
Antibiotic Resistant Typhoid Detected in Countries Around the World
Unappreciated global spread of multiple antimicrobial resistant typhoid mapped by international consortium.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Genes that Cause Pancreatic Cancer Identified by New Tool
Screening system in mice spots cancerous changes invisible to sequencing.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Large-scale Study Raises Hopes For Development Of E. coli Vaccine
Global comparison reveals surprisingly close relation between E. coli strains that cause traveller's diarrhoea.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Atlas Shows How Genes Affect Our Metabolism
New atlas of molecules paves the way for improved understanding of metabolic diseases.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Gene Promotes one in a Hundred of Tumours
Gene discovered to play a part in one per cent of all cancers.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Stem Cells Could Set Up Future Transplant Therapies
New method for developing stem cells enables production of liver and pancreatic cells in clinically relevant quantities.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Novel Mutations Define Two Types of Bone Tumour
Two related genes underlie the development of two rare bone tumours in nearly 100 per cent of patients.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Genetic Variants Decrease Rate of Metabolism
Defects to gene reveal potential new therapeutic targets against obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Tracking MRSA in Real Time
Study highlights benefits of rapid whole-genome sequencing.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Seeking Superior Stem Cells
One hundred-fold increase in efficiency in reprogramming human cells to induced stem cells.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Punctuated Evolution in Cancer Genomes
Remarkable new research overthrows the conventional view that cancer always develops in a steady, stepwise progression. It shows that in some cancers, the genome can be shattered into hundreds of fragments in a single cellular catastrophe, wreaking mutation on a massive scale.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
1000 Genomes Project Publishes Analysis Of Completed Pilot Phase
NIH-supported work produces tool for research into genetic contributors to human disease.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Sequence is Scaffold to Study Sleeping Sickness
Study probes Trypanosoma parasite genome for cause of human infectivity.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Exploring Genetic Effects in Cells
A deep look into population variation in gene activity provides key insight to cell functions and disease susceptibility, researcher report.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Scientific News
NIH Study Finds Calorie Restriction Lowers Some Risk Factors for Age-Related Diseases
Two-year trial did not produce expected metabolic changes, but influenced other life span markers.
Immunotherapy Agent Benefits Patients with Drug-Resistant Multiple Myeloma in First Human Trial
Daratumumab proved generally safe in patients, even at the highest doses.
Low-level Arsenic Exposure Before Birth Associated with Early Puberty in Female Mice
Study examine whether low-dose arsenic exposure could have similar health outcomes in humans.
Inciting an Immune Attack On Cancer Cells
A new minimally invasive vaccine that combines cancer cells and immune-enhancing factors could be used clinically to launch a destructive attack on tumors.
‘Mutation-Tracking’ Blood Test for Breast Cancer
Scientists have developed a blood test for breast cancer able to identify which patients will suffer a relapse after treatment, months before tumours are visible on hospital scans.
Cellular Contamination Pathway for Heavy Elements Identified
Berkeley Lab scientists find that an iron-binding protein can transport actinides into cells.
Intensity of Desert Storms May Affect Ocean Phytoplankton
MIT study finds phytoplankton are extremely sensitive to changing levels of desert dust.
Common ‘Heart Attack’ Blood Test May Predict Future Hypertension
Small rises in troponin levels may have value as markers for subclinical heart damage and high blood pressure.
LaVision BioTec Reports on the Neuro Research on the Human Brain After Trauma
Company reports on the work of Dr Ali Ertürk from the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research at LMU Munich.
NIH Study Shows No Benefit of Omega-3 Supplements for Cognitive Decline
Research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!