Ferroptosis - A new target of osteoporosis

Exp Gerontol. 2022 Aug:165:111836. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2022.111836. Epub 2022 May 19.


Osteoporosis is a bone metabolic disease characterized by reduced bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue microarchitecture, leading to enhanced skeletal fragility and susceptibility to fracture. Unbalanced bone remodeling is the primary pathogenetic factor of osteoporosis, in which osteoclast-mediated bone resorption exceeds osteoblast-mediated bone formation. Bisphosphonates and calcitonin are among the drugs commonly used to treat osteoporosis, in addition to the bone nutrients vitamin D and calcium supplements. The current treatments effectively prevent further bone loss by inhibiting the excessive activation of osteoclasts, accompanied by various degrees of side effects. Iron, one of the trace elements essential for life activities, has recently been recognized as an independent risk factor for osteoporosis. Abnormal iron metabolism increases the incidence of many bone diseases, especially osteoporosis. Iron metabolism does play a key role in bone homeostasis. Ferroptosis is a novel form of cell death that has been discovered in recent years. Its main features include iron overload and the accumulation of ROS. And lipid peroxidation is the key. There are increasing shreds of evidence that ferroptosis is involved in the occurrence and development of osteoporosis, and its regulation can effectively prevent osteoporosis. Therefore, this review further elucidates the role of ferroptosis in osteoporosis based on the mechanism and its relationship with osteoporosis and provides a new idea for treating osteoporosis.

Keywords: Ferroptosis; Lipid peroxidation; Osteoporosis; ROS; iron metabolism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents* / pharmacology
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Ferroptosis*
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Iron / therapeutic use
  • Osteoporosis* / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis* / metabolism


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Iron