Osteoporosis, inflammation and ageing

Immun Ageing. 2005 Nov 4;2:14. doi: 10.1186/1742-4933-2-14.


Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by low bone mass and increased bone fragility, putting patients at risk of fractures, which are major causes of morbidity substantially in older people. Osteoporosis is currently attributed to various endocrine, metabolic and mechanical factors. However, emerging clinical and molecular evidence suggests that inflammation also exerts significant influence on bone turnover, inducing osteoporosis. Numerous proinflammatory cytokines have been implicated in the regulation of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, and a shift towards an activated immune profile has been hypothesized as important risk factor. Chronic inflammation and the immune system remodelling characteristic of ageing, as well as of other pathological conditions commonly associated with osteoporosis, may be determinant pathogenetic factors. The present article will review the current perspectives on the interaction between bone and immune system in the elderly, providing an interpretation of osteoporosis in the light of inflamm-ageing.