Osteologie 2016; 25(04): 256-261
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1619027
Glucocorticoids and bone
Schattauer GmbH

11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 and bone

11β-Hydroxysteroid-Dehydrogenase und Knochen
M. S. Cooper
1   Adrenal Steroid Laboratory, ANZAC Research Institute, Concord Hospital, University of Sydney, Concord, Sydney, Australia
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received: 13 September 2016

accepted: 27 September 2016

Publication Date:
23 December 2017 (online)


Intracellular enzymatic metabolism of glucocorticoids is an important contributor to glucocorticoid action. The most extensively studied glucocorticoid metabolising enzymes are the 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (11β-HSDs). These enzymes interconvert hormonally inactive glucocorticoids such as cortisone and dehydrocorticosterone with their active counterparts cortisol and corticosterone. 11β-HSDs have been reported to be expressed in bone and bone cells. This article reviews the literature relating to the expression, activity and functional consequences of 11β-HSD expression in bone. This activity appears to have clinical consequences in terms of predisposition towards osteoporosis and fracture and in the variation between individuals in the sensitivity of bone to therapeutic glucocorticoids. The existence of this enzyme system within bone opens up opportunities for new treatments to protect bone from the adverse effects of glucocorticoids.


Der intrazelluläre enzymatische Metabolismus der Glukokortikoide trägt entscheidend zur Glukokortikoidwirkung bei. Die am meisten untersuchten Enzyme des Glukokortikoid-metabolismus sind die 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenasen (11β-HSDs). Diese Enzyme können hormonell inaktive Metaboliten wie Kortison und Dehydrokortikosteron in ihre aktiven Metaboliten Kortisol und Kortikosteron umwandeln. 11β-HSDs werden im Knochen und in Knochenzellen exprimiert. Dieser Artikel gibt einen Überblick über die Literatur hinsichtlich der Expression, Aktivität und den funktionellen Folgen der 11β-HSD-Expression im Knochen. Die Enzymaktivität scheint für eine Osteoporose und Frakturen zu prädisponieren. Weiterhin scheint die Empfindlichkeit von Individuen bezüglich einer Glukokortikoidtherapie davon beeinflusst zu sein. Die Anwesenheit dieses Enzymsystems im Knochen eröffnet auch Chancen für neue Therapiemöglichkeiten, um den Knochen vor negativen Effekten der Glukokortikoide zu schützen.

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