Elena Tsourdi is ECTS Clinical Fellowship Awardee 2019 having been granted 10.000€ for clinical research in the field of bone disease. With the project ‘The effect of antiresorptive and osteoanabolic drugs on the expression of bone-specific microRNAs in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis’ she and her collaborators plan to test whether bone-specific miRNAs are differently regulated by osteoporosis therapeutics.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate various cell functions by inhibiting target gene expression, and bone-specific miRNAs can be potential diagnostic tools in postmenopausal osteoporosis. The main goal of this project is to identify miRNAs which are involved in the pathogenesis of postmenopausal bone loss and to examine their regulation by antiresorptive and osteoanabolic drugs. We will analyse sera from an established cohort of postmenopausal women which were either treatment-naïve, or had received 1-2 yearly i.v. infusions of 5 mg zoledronic acid (ZOL), or had completed 24 months of daily s.c. injections of 20 µg teriparatide (TPTD). The central hypothesis is that bone-specific miRNAs are differently regulated by osteoporosis therapeutics. In order to test the hypothesis we will analyse miRNA-profile regulation by osteoporosis therapeutics and seek to identify correlations between miRNAs and changes in bone mineral density, serum concentrations of established bone turnover markers and myostatin in treatment-naïve and pretreated postmenopausal women. This characterization of the miRNA-profile will lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of postmenopausal osteoporosis and may thus contribute to the development of innovative therapeutic approaches.