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Open Badges Commentary

The role of statins as potential targets for bone formation

I Ross Garrett1* and Greg R Mundy2

Author Affiliations

1 OsteoScreen, San Antonio, Texas, USA

2 The Institute of Drug Development, San Antonio, Texas, USA

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Arthritis Res 2002, 4:237-240  doi:10.1186/ar413

Published: 1 February 2002


Inhibitors of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase enzyme have recently been shown to stimulate bone formation in rodents both in vitro and in vivo. In bone cells, these inhibitors increase the gene expression of bone morphogenetic protein-2, which is an autocrine-paracrine factor for osteoblast differentiation.

The findings that statins increase bone formation and bone mass in rodents suggest a potential new action for these compounds, which may be beneficial in patients with established osteoporosis where marked bone loss has occurred. Recent clinical data suggest that they may reduce the risk of fracture in patients taking these drugs.

bone formation; HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors; osteoblasts; osteoporosis; statins