View Full Version : Osteopontin - triggers Scoliosis and allergies

01-04-2010, 09:00 AM
For those of you new to this conversation high levels of a protein called Osteopontin have been implicated as the cause of Scoliosis (http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2008119170&IA=CA2008000595&DISPLAY=DESC). Interestingly enough Osteopontin has been associated with numerous cancers and other potentially fatal inflammatory diseases.

This morning I read that Osteopontin has been connected to contact allergies.

Osteopontin Contributes to Allergic Contact Dermatitis (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230193136.htm)

They found that both skin cells and immune cells secreted OPN in allergic contact dermatitis lesions. OPN was strongly induced in antigen-specific immune cells in a murine model of chronic contact hypersensitivity, and OPN-deficient mice had a less severe chronic contact hypersensitivity response. As anti-OPN antibody treatment partially suppressed the symptoms of chronic contact hypersensitivity, OPN may serve as a new therapeutic target for allergic contact dermatitis.

Bonus Links

Genetically removing the osteopontin protein prevents lung diseases (http://www.news-medical.net/news/20090916/Genetically-removing-the-osteopontin-protein-prevents-lung-diseases.aspx)

Osteopontin linked to autoimmune disease relapses (http://biosingularity.wordpress.com/2006/12/03/molecule-linked-to-autoimmune-disease-relapses-identified/)

High plasma osteopontin levels in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17245215)

01-04-2010, 06:16 PM
Isn't some kind of OPN therapy used following spinal surgery as well?

Sure looks like there may be connections which may lead to disharmony between two nervous systems - the somatic and autonomic. Think you may find this paper just published in Scoliosis Journal interesting: http://www.scoliosisjournal.com/content/4/1/24

A lot to digest in this one, along with a scant 408 references! But it does cover some of Moreau's work and seems to take a deep look at the melatonin - osteoblast connection.

01-05-2010, 08:55 AM
Again. Others are criticizing Moreau's interpretation of OPN. They say that high OPN is a indicator of stress (consequence of scoliosis) rather than a CAUSE of scoliosis.

From the paper Mamamax referenced.

Osteopontin and bone remodeling in mice
Osteopontin, a major non-collagenous bone matrix glycoprotein originally isolated from bone - sialic acid rich, phosphorylated and inhibitor of calcification - has a critical role in bone remodeling which in OPN-knockout mice was suppressed [262]. Hence, the interpretation under item 11. above, and the evidence from Fujihara et al [262], together raise caution about attributing a causal, rather than a consequential, role to increased plasma OPN in AIS pathogenesis.

01-05-2010, 12:32 PM
The paper does appear to question whether the attribute is causal or consequential in light of a theory involving both the autonomic and the somatic nervous systems. Meanwhile ...

Several years ago, Stanford researcher Lawrence Steinman, MD, and colleagues found abnormally high osteopontin levels in parts of the brain affected by MS flare-ups.

Now Steinman and colleagues find that in three different mouse models of MS, osteopontin causes disease relapse and makes disease symptoms worse.

The reason: osteopontin protects immune cells that have gone haywire and attack the brain. Normal protective mechanisms trigger self-destruction in aberrant immune cells. But osteopontin stops this signal, prolonging the lives of these cells.

Steinman's team is working on antibodies to block osteopontin. But Steinman admits there may be a problem with this approach. Osteopontin seems to play a major role in many normal body functions.

"Like a lot of important biological molecules, osteopontin has a Janus-like quality -- a bad side and a good side," Steinman says in a news release. "We're going to be extremely lucky if we give the antibody opposing osteopontin and derive just the good side."


Looks like its going to take an Einstein to figure this one out?