Affect of heavy metals on bones microarchitecture in osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition of bones that results into thinning of bones. The osteoporotic people are more prone to fractures as the bones becomes fragile and weak. Several mechanical, genetic, and environmental factors govern bone metabolism and plays a crucial role in osteoporosis. Although, the impact of environmental pollution on the occurrence of osteoporosis is still unclear. Heavy metals are one of the chief pollutants known to affect bone mass.
A study was done to explore if heavy metals accumulation in bone tissues is concerned with the altered bone metabolism and architecture of osteoporotic patients. Total 15 patients were involved who underwent hip arthroplasty for high-energy hip fracture or osteonecrosis of the femoral head as a control group. The bone head biopsies were studied by BioQuant-osteo software, scanning electron microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-ray microanalysis. Occurence of lead, cadmium and chromium was observed in osteoporotic patients. One significant finding was that the increase levels of sclerostin, detected by immunohistochemistry, correlate with the accumulation of heavy metal found in the bone of osteoporotic patients, indicating a molecular link between heavy metal accumulation and bone metabolism impairment.
It is inferred that presence of heavy metals into bone shed new light on the comprehension of the pathogenesis of osteoporosis, since these elements could play a non redundant part in the development of osteoporosis at cellular/molecular and epigenetic level. However, in vivo and in vitro studies need to better resolve the molecular mechanism in which heavy metals can participate to osteoporosis.