Bone loss in inflammatory disorders

J Endocrinol. 2009 Jun;201(3):309-20. doi: 10.1677/JOE-08-0568.


Chronic inflammatory diseases of almost any cause are associated with bone loss. Bone loss is due to direct effects of inflammation, poor nutrition, reduced lean body mass, immobility and the effects of treatments, especially glucocorticoids. These mechanisms are complex and interrelated but are ultimately mediated through effects on the bone remodelling cycle. Inflammatory disease can increase bone resorption, decrease bone formation but most commonly impacts on both of these processes resulting in an uncoupling of bone formation from resorption in favour of excess resorption. This review will illustrate these interactions between inflammation and bone metabolism and discuss how these are, and might be, manipulated as therapies for inflammation related bone loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Remodeling / physiology
  • Bone Resorption / etiology*
  • Bone Resorption / therapy
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / deficiency
  • Humans
  • Immobilization / adverse effects
  • Inflammation / complications*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones