Osteoporosis in diabetes mellitus: Possible cellular and molecular mechanisms

World J Diabetes. 2011 Mar 15;2(3):41-8. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v2.i3.41.


Osteoporosis, a global age-related health problem in both male and female elderly, insidiously deteriorates the microstructure of bone, particularly at trabecular sites, such as vertebrae, ribs and hips, culminating in fragility fractures, pain and disability. Although osteoporosis is normally associated with senescence and estrogen deficiency, diabetes mellitus (DM), especially type 1 DM, also contributes to and/or aggravates bone loss in osteoporotic patients. This topic highlight article focuses on DM-induced osteoporosis and DM/osteoporosis comorbidity, covering alterations in bone metabolism as well as factors regulating bone growth under diabetic conditions including, insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1 and angiogenesis. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of DM-related bone loss are also discussed. This information provides a foundation for the better understanding of diabetic complications and for development of early screening and prevention of osteoporosis in diabetic patients.

Keywords: Bone remodeling; Bone strength; Diabetes; Fragility fracture; Insulin; Osteoblast; Osteoclast; Osteopenia; Osteoporosis; Pregnancy.