Minireview: live and let die: molecular effects of glucocorticoids on bone cells

Mol Endocrinol. 2009 Oct;23(10):1525-31. doi: 10.1210/me.2009-0069. Epub 2009 May 28.


Glucocorticoids (GCs) are efficient drugs that are used to treat various immune-mediated diseases, but their long-term administration is associated with multiple metabolic side effects, including osteoporosis. Molecular analyses of the mechanisms exerted by the GC receptor have resulted in the development of GC receptor agonists that selectively repress or activate GC target genes. This review summarizes the cellular and molecular effects of GCs on bone cells and highlights the critical signaling pathways that may evolve into future therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / cytology*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis / chemically induced
  • Osteoporosis / pathology
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / metabolism


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid