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Alcoholism and Osteoimmunology

Wang X1Chen X1Lu L1Yu X1.

Curr Med Chem. 2020 Apr 25. doi: 10.2174/1567201816666190514101303. [Epub ahead of print]




Chronic consumption of alcohol has an adverse effect on the skeletal system, which may lead to osteoporosis, delayed fracture healing and osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Currently, treatment is limited. It is urgent to determine the underline mechanism and invent new treatment. It is well known that normal bone remodeling relies on the balance between osteoclastmediated bone resorption and osteoblast-mediated bone formation. Many factors can destroy the balance, including dysfunction of immune system. In this review, we summarized the relevant research in the alcoholic osteopenia with a focus on the abnormal osteoimmunology signals, and provided a new theoretical basis for the prevention and treatment of the alcoholic bone.


We searched PubMed for publications from 1 January 1980 to 1 February 2020 to identify relevant and latest literatures, evaluation and prospect of alcoholic osteopenia were summarized. Detailed search terms were ‘alcohol’, ‘alcoholic osteoporosis’, ‘alcoholic osteopenia’ ‘immune’, ‘osteoimmunology’, ‘bone remodeling’, ‘osteoporosis treatment’, ‘osteoporosis therapy’.


A total of 135 papers were included in the review. About 60 papers described the mechanisms of alcohol involved in bone remodeling. Some papers were focused on the pathogenesis of alcohol on bone through osteoimmune mechanisms.


There is a complex network of signals between alcohol and bone remodeling, and intercellular communication of osteoimmune may be a potential mechanism for alcoholic bone. Studying the osteoimmune mechanism is critical for drug development specific to alcoholic bone disorder.