Cellular and molecular mechanisms of alcohol-induced osteopenia
Alcoholic beverages are widely consumed, resulting in a staggering economic cost in different social and cultural settings. Types of alcohol consumption vary from light occasional to heavy, binge drinking, and chronic alcohol abuse at all ages. In general, heavy alcohol consumption is widely recognized as a major epidemiological risk factor for chronic diseases and is detrimental to many organs and tissues, including bones. Indeed, recent findings demonstrate that alcohol has a dose-dependent toxic effect in promoting imbalanced bone remodeling. This imbalance eventually results in osteopenia, an established risk factor for osteoporosis. Decreased bone mass and strength are major hallmarks of osteopenia, which is predominantly attributed not only to inhibition of bone synthesis but also to increased bone resorption through direct and indirect pathways. In this review, we present knowledge to elucidate the epidemiology, potential pathogenesis, and major molecular mechanisms and cellular effects that underlie alcoholism-induced bone loss in osteopenia. Novel therapeutic targets for correcting alcohol-induced osteopenia are also reviewed, such as modulation of proinflammatory cytokines and Wnt and mTOR signaling and the application of new drugs.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00018-017-2585-y