Skeletal Endocrine Laboratory

Lab head: Dr Tara Brennan-Speranza
Location: Room N350, Anderson Stuart Building, F13


The effects of hyperglycemia on human osteoclastic bone resorption in vitro

Primary supervisor: Tara Speranza

Increased bone fragility and reduced skeletal muscle quality are under-recognised complications of

long-term hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus. As a result, patients have an increased risk of

falls, fractures, and a reduced quality of life. Overall, human data thus far suggests a deterioration

of tissue mineral quality and strength, likely brought about by adverse effects of long-term

hyperglycemia on bone matrix and the bone cells. T2DM patients have reduced bone formation

markers and some evidence that resorption makers are reduced: serum carboxy-terminal crosslinked

telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX), indicating bone cells are adversely affected. This

project is aimed at testing whether hyperglycemia directly reduces the activity of the bone resorbing

cells, the osteoclasts. Human blood monocytes will be cultured and differentiated on coverslips and

treated with increasing concentrations of glucose over several weeks to form mature, bone

resorbing osteoclasts. Cells will be stained for numbers and resorption markers and properties.

Secondly, cells will be cultured and differentiated on slices of whale dentine in increasing

concentrations of glucose. The dentine slices will then be analysed by electron scanning microscopy

(SEM) to determine the amount of resorption carried out by these cells.

Discipline: Physiology
Keywords: Bone health, Diabetes, Cell biology