Osteoporosis is a major cause of fractures and associated morbidity in the aged population. The pathogenesis of osteoporosis is multifactorial; whereas traditional pathophysiological concepts emphasize endocrine mechanisms, it has been recognized that also components of the immune system have a significant impact on bone. Since 2000, when the term 'osteoimmunology' was coined, novel insights into the role of inflammatory cytokines by influencing the fine-tuned balance between bone resorption and bone formation have helped to explain the occurrence of osteoporosis in conjunction with chronic inflammatory reactions. Moreover, the phenomenon of a low-grade, chronic, systemic inflammatory state associated with aging has been defined as 'inflamm-aging' by Claudio Franceschi and has been linked to age-related diseases such as osteoporosis. Given the tight anatomical and physiological coexistence of B cells and the bone-forming units in the bone marrow, a role of B cells in osteoimmunological interactions has long been suspected. Recent findings of B cells as active regulators of the RANK/RANKL/OPG axis, of altered RANKL/OPG production by B cells in HIV-associated bone loss or of a modulated expression of genes linked to B-cell biology in response to estrogen deficiency support this assumption. Furthermore, oxidative stress and the generation of advanced glycation end products have emerged as links between inflammation and bone destruction.
- Cytidine Deaminase/immunology
- Glycation End Products, Advanced/immunology
- Oxidative Stress/immunology
- RANK Ligand/immunology
- Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B/immunology