Research Highlight

Molecule to treat osteoporosis

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.9 Published online 10 February 2010

A molecule – LP533401 – has shown promise in treating osteoporosis in rodents.

Osteoporosis is caused when the bone mass deteriorates. This is a result of insufficient replenishment of the decreasing bone mass, generally due to old age.

A gut-derived serotonin (GDS) is known to inhibit bone formation. Researchers tried to find out if hampering the generation of this GDS could increase bone formation and thereby treat osteoporosis.

They synthesised and used LP533401, a small molecule inhibitor of tryptophan hydroxylase-1 (Tph-1), the initial enzyme in GDS biosynthesis. Oral administration of this small molecule once daily for up to six weeks showed good results in treating osteoporosis in mice and rats with osteoporosis.

The results also prove that inhibiting GDS could be a new treatment for osteoporosis.


  1. Yadav, V. K. et al. Pharmacological inhibition of gut-derived serotonin synthesis is a potential bone anabolic treatment for osteoporosis. Nat. Med. doi: 10.1038/nm.2098 (2010)