Receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) activates, while osteoprotegerin (OPG) inhibits, osteoclastogenesis. A neutralizing Ab against RANKL, denosumab, improves bone strength in osteoporosis. OPG also improves muscle strength in mouse models of Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (mdx) and denervation-induced atrophy, but its role and mechanisms of action on muscle weakness in other conditions remain to be investigated. We investigated the effects of RANKL inhibitors on muscle in osteoporotic women and mice that either overexpress RANKL (HuRANKLTg+), or lack Pparb and concomitantly develop sarcopenia (Pparb–/–). In women, taking denosumab for more than 3 years improved appendicular lean mass and handgrip strength compared with no treatment, whereas bisphosphonate did not. HuRANKLTg+ mice displayed lower limb force and maximal speed, while their leg muscle mass was diminished, with a lower number of type I and II fibers. Both OPG and denosumab increased limb force proportionally to the increase in muscle mass. They markedly improved muscle insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, and decreased antimyogenic and inflammatory gene expression in muscle, such as myostatin and protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor-γ. Similarly, in Pparb–/–, OPG increased muscle volume and force while also normalizing insulin signaling and higher expression of inflammatory genes in skeletal muscle. In conclusion, RANKL deteriorates while its inhibitors improve muscle strength and insulin sensitivity in osteoporotic mice and humans. Hence, denosumab could represent a novel therapeutic approach for sarcopenia.
Nicolas Bonnet, Lucie Bourgoin, Emmanuel Biver, Eleni Douni, Serge Ferrari
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.