From the gut to the strut: Where inflammation reigns, bone abstains

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

20 Scopus citations


In this issue of the JCI, Li et al. show that germ-free mice, when chemically castrated, do not lose bone - a finding that unequivocally establishes a role of gut microbiota in mediating hypogonadal bone loss. Additionally and not unexpectedly, probiotics reversed hypogonadal osteopenia in sex steroid-deficient mice by preventing the disruption of gut barrier function and dampening cytokine-induced inflammation. The authors propose that TNFα is a key mediator; however, it is very likely that other molecules - including IL-1, IL-6, IL-17, RANKL, OPG, and CCL2 - modulate probiotic action. The results of this study highlight the potential for repurposing probiotics for the therapy of osteoporosis. Future placebo-controlled clinical trials will be required to establish safety and efficacy of probiotics in reducing fracture risk in people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2045-2048
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016


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