Effect of glucocorticoids on bone density

Qaiser Rehman, Nancy E Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Glucocorticoid therapy is the most common cause of secondary iatrogenic osteoporosis. The bone loss occurs predominantly due to a decrease in bone formation, although increased bone resorption also occurs. Glucocorticoids induce osteoblast apoptosis and increase osteoclast survival and activity. Most of these effects are mediated through the RANKL/OPG system but perturbations in gonadal hormone activity and calcium balance may also contribute significantly to bone loss. Future therapies in the treatment and prevention of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis may be targeted at restoring the hormonal and cytokine balance to nullify the apoptotic effect of glucocorticoids on bone forming cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-216
Number of pages5
JournalMedical and Pediatric Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone growth
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Osteoclasts
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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