Metabolic bone disorders and the promise of marine osteoactive compounds

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

Alessio Carletti, Paulo Jorge Gavaia, Maria Leonor Cancela & Vincent Laizé

Metabolic bone disorders and associated fragility fractures are major causes of disability and mortality worldwide and place an important financial burden on the global health systems. These disorders result from an unbalance between bone anabolic and resorptive processes and are characterized by different pathophysiological mechanisms. Drugs are available to treat bone metabolic pathologies, but they are either poorly effective or associated with undesired side effects that limit their use. The molecular mechanism underlying the most common metabolic bone disorders, and the availability, efficacy, and limitations of therapeutic options currently available are discussed here. A source for the unmet need of novel drugs to treat metabolic bone disorders is marine organisms, which produce natural osteoactive compounds of high pharmaceutical potential. In this review, we have inventoried the marine osteoactive compounds (MOCs) currently identified and spotted the groups of marine organisms with potential for MOC production. Finally, we briefly examine the availability of in vivo screening and validation tools for the study of MOCs.

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