There has been substantial progress in the management of patients with osteoporosis and the prevention of osteoporotic fractures. Currently available strong anti-resorptive agents are bisphosphonates and an anti-receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL) antibody, denosumab. Although bisphosphonates and denosumab both inhibit bone resorption and prevent vertebral and non-vertebral fractures, their mechanisms of action are different. Whereas bisphosphonates’ effects on bone mineral density and fracture peak around 3 to 5 years and become plateaued, those of denosumab are maintained for up to 10 years. There are differences in the modes of action of these two drugs. Bisphosphonates accumulate on the mineralized bone surface and are released by the acid environment under osteoclastic bone resorption, whereas denosumab is not accumulated on bone but directly binds RANKL and inhibits its binding to the receptor RANK. Thus, the reduction in denosumab concentration 4 to 6 months after injection may enable RANK to bind to RANKL, where it is highly expressed, such as in damaged bone regions. As anabolic agents, only teriparatide has been available for a long time, but abaloparatide, a synthetic analog of PTHrP(1–34), is currently under development. Because of the difference in the preferential binding conformations of PTH1 receptor between teriparatide and abaloparatide, the latter shows anabolic effects with fewer bone resorptive effects. Romosozumab, an anti-sclerostin antibody, inhibits the action of sclerostin, a canonical Wnt signal inhibitor secreted from osteocytes, and enhances canonical Wnt signaling. Romosozumab robustly increases vertebral and proximal femoral bone mineral density within 12 months and inhibits vertebral and clinical fractures in patients with osteoporosis by enhancing bone formation and inhibiting bone resorption. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in therapeutic agents for the treatment of osteoporosis and discuss future prospects with their use.
© 2017 Fukumoto S and Matsumoto T. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Data associated with the article are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Zero "No rights reserved" data waiver(https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) (CC0 1.0 Public domain dedication).
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