Japanese scientists report that the antibiotic reveromycin A appears to selectively kill osteoclasts, cells involved in resorbing bone tissue, a finding that may point to a new therapeutic approach for osteoporosis (Woo J et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103:4729-4734).
Mature osteoclasts establish an acidic microenvironment in which they break down and resorb bone and mediate the excessive bone loss seen in osteoporosis and other conditions. The researchers found that reveromycin A blocked bone resorption by inducing apoptosis specifically in osteoclasts.
Stephenson J. Bone-Sparing Antibiotic?. JAMA. 2006;295(15):1763. doi:10.1001/jama.295.15.1763-c