Author(s): Moonga BS, Dempster DW
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Abstract It is well established that zinc, an essential trace element, plays an important role in growth and stimulates bone formation. However, the effects of zinc on bone resorption have received little attention. We studied its effects on isolated rat osteoclasts. Unexpectedly, osteoclasts were exquisitely sensitive to zinc, with a significant decrease in bone resorption occurring at concentrations as low as 10(-14) M. This effect was specific for zinc and was not observed with the other transitional or alkaline metals studied. There was no evidence of toxicity at concentrations up to 10(-4) M. Zinc also completely abolished the stimulatory effect of parathyroid hormone. Zinc is therefore a highly potent and selective inhibitor of osteoclastic bone resorption in vitro. The mode of action remains to be established and may represent a novel inhibitory mechanism in the osteoclast.
This article was published in J Bone Miner Res
and referenced in Journal of Powder Metallurgy & Mining