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1.  P1 - Maxillary Osteoporosis and Genetic Predisposition 
Introduction:
Osteoporosis is a form of dysmetabolic osteopathy of multifactorial origin, characterised by reduction of the bone matrix and mineral portion and, overall, of bone mass, leading to fragility and increased fracture risk.
AETIOPATHOGENESIS -ENDOCRINE FACTORS: ACTH, glycocorticoids, PTH, thyroxine, oestrogen, testosterone-GENETIC FACTORS: Major genes that regulate fundamental characteristics of bone, such as density and quality, and minor genes that regulate individual genetic background [lipoprotein receptor related protein (LRP5), TGF1, BMP, VDR, COL1A1, ER].
The DIAGNOSIS is based on history, clinical findings (vertebral or appendicular fractures), blood chemistry, conventional radiology and bone mass measurement. For the latter, it is possible to use DUAL-ENERGY X-RAY DENSITOMETRY which measures bone mineral content: according to the WHO definition, in osteoporosis bone mineral density (BMD) is more than 2.5 standard deviations below normal.
MAXILLARY OSTEOPOROSIS: because of their function as a support for teeth, which leads to the development of the alveolar process, and their role in mastication, the jawbones (maxilla and mandible) differ from all the other bones of the skeleton. This role, also involving the masticatory muscles, prompts bone trophism. In advancing age a marked reduction of the thickness of the maxillary cortical bone is observed, together with increased porosity and constant functional remodelling of the trabecular part, a phenomenon that, as it increases, leads to tooth loss. Only a mandibular area (a bucco-lingual area of cortical bone in front of the mental foramen) remains unmodified, independently of gender, age and tooth loss.
Materials and methods:
Kemifar® supplies a test which can be used to study several factors (Er, VDR, COL1A1) that predispose to the development of osteoporosis. OsteoResis®Type is a simple, non-invasive test that allows the complete determination, and interpretation, of several genotypes associated with the appearance of osteoporosis. The test requires a pinprick blood sample, taken from the fingertip: from this sample, which is placed on a special paper, the genetic material is extracted for subsequent analysis. The test supplies definitive data, does have to be repeated and can be carried out at any time.
Gene polymorphism influences the appearance of osteoporotic fracture risk: individuals with an absent enzyme restriction site have a markedly reduced osteoporotic fracture risk, therefore if capital “X” indicates absence of the restriction site, the XX subject has a resistant genotype as the site is not present on either chromosome, whereas Xx and xx subjects have a susceptible genotype.
A sample of 20 subjects randomly drawn from among patients referred to our department of oral and implant surgery underwent the above test.
Discussion and conclusions:
The genetic component is becoming increasingly important in the early diagnosis of osteoporosis. Even though there are many risk factors involved in the pathogenesis of the disease, the most important is still a positive family history. The single individual’s genetic makeup is important as regards bone mass peak, which is 50–60% genetically determined.
PMCID: PMC3213811
2.  Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies ALDH7A1 as a Novel Susceptibility Gene for Osteoporosis 
PLoS Genetics  2010;6(1):e1000806.
Osteoporosis is a major public health problem. It is mainly characterized by low bone mineral density (BMD) and/or low-trauma osteoporotic fractures (OF), both of which have strong genetic determination. The specific genes influencing these phenotypic traits, however, are largely unknown. Using the Affymetrix 500K array set, we performed a case-control genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 700 elderly Chinese Han subjects (350 with hip OF and 350 healthy matched controls). A follow-up replication study was conducted to validate our major GWAS findings in an independent Chinese sample containing 390 cases with hip OF and 516 controls. We found that a SNP, rs13182402 within the ALDH7A1 gene on chromosome 5q31, was strongly associated with OF with evidence combined GWAS and replication studies (P = 2.08×10−9, odds ratio = 2.25). In order to explore the target risk factors and potential mechanism underlying hip OF risk, we further examined this candidate SNP's relevance to hip BMD both in Chinese and Caucasian populations involving 9,962 additional subjects. This SNP was confirmed as consistently associated with hip BMD even across ethnic boundaries, in both Chinese and Caucasians (combined P = 6.39×10−6), further attesting to its potential effect on osteoporosis. ALDH7A1 degrades and detoxifies acetaldehyde, which inhibits osteoblast proliferation and results in decreased bone formation. Our findings may provide new insights into the pathogenesis of osteoporosis.
Author Summary
Osteoporosis is a major health concern worldwide. It is a highly heritable disease characterized mainly by low bone mineral density (BMD) and/or osteoporotic fractures. However, the specific genetic variants determining risk for low BMD or OF are largely unknown. Here, taking advantage of recent technological advances in human genetics, we performed a genome-wide association study and follow-up validation studies to identify genetic variants for osteoporosis. By examining a total of 11,568 individuals from Chinese and Caucasian populations, we discovered a susceptibility gene, ALDH7A1, which is associated with hip osteoporotic fracture and BMD. ALDH7A1 might inhibit osteoblast proliferation and decrease bone formation. Our finding opens a new avenue for exploring the pathophysiology of osteoporosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000806
PMCID: PMC2794362  PMID: 20072603
3.  Utilization of DXA Bone Mineral Densitometry in Ontario 
Executive Summary
Issue
Systematic reviews and analyses of administrative data were performed to determine the appropriate use of bone mineral density (BMD) assessments using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and the associated trends in wrist and hip fractures in Ontario.
Background
Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry Bone Mineral Density Assessment
Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry bone densitometers measure bone density based on differential absorption of 2 x-ray beams by bone and soft tissues. It is the gold standard for detecting and diagnosing osteoporosis, a systemic disease characterized by low bone density and altered bone structure, resulting in low bone strength and increased risk of fractures. The test is fast (approximately 10 minutes) and accurate (exceeds 90% at the hip), with low radiation (1/3 to 1/5 of that from a chest x-ray). DXA densitometers are licensed as Class 3 medical devices in Canada. The World Health Organization has established criteria for osteoporosis and osteopenia based on DXA BMD measurements: osteoporosis is defined as a BMD that is >2.5 standard deviations below the mean BMD for normal young adults (i.e. T-score <–2.5), while osteopenia is defined as BMD that is more than 1 standard deviation but less than 2.5 standard deviation below the mean for normal young adults (i.e. T-score< –1 & ≥–2.5). DXA densitometry is presently an insured health service in Ontario.
Clinical Need
 
Burden of Disease
The Canadian Multicenter Osteoporosis Study (CaMos) found that 16% of Canadian women and 6.6% of Canadian men have osteoporosis based on the WHO criteria, with prevalence increasing with age. Osteopenia was found in 49.6% of Canadian women and 39% of Canadian men. In Ontario, it is estimated that nearly 530,000 Ontarians have some degrees of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis-related fragility fractures occur most often in the wrist, femur and pelvis. These fractures, particularly those in the hip, are associated with increased mortality, and decreased functional capacity and quality of life. A Canadian study showed that at 1 year after a hip fracture, the mortality rate was 20%. Another 20% required institutional care, 40% were unable to walk independently, and there was lower health-related quality of life due to attributes such as pain, decreased mobility and decreased ability to self-care. The cost of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures in Canada was estimated to be $1.3 billion in 1993.
Guidelines for Bone Mineral Density Testing
With 2 exceptions, almost all guidelines address only women. None of the guidelines recommend blanket population-based BMD testing. Instead, all guidelines recommend BMD testing in people at risk of osteoporosis, predominantly women aged 65 years or older. For women under 65 years of age, BMD testing is recommended only if one major or two minor risk factors for osteoporosis exist. Osteoporosis Canada did not restrict its recommendations to women, and thus their guidelines apply to both sexes. Major risk factors are age greater than or equal to 65 years, a history of previous fractures, family history (especially parental history) of fracture, and medication or disease conditions that affect bone metabolism (such as long-term glucocorticoid therapy). Minor risk factors include low body mass index, low calcium intake, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Current Funding for Bone Mineral Density Testing
The Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) Schedule presently reimburses DXA BMD at the hip and spine. Measurements at both sites are required if feasible. Patients at low risk of accelerated bone loss are limited to one BMD test within any 24-month period, but there are no restrictions on people at high risk. The total fee including the professional and technical components for a test involving 2 or more sites is $106.00 (Cdn).
Method of Review
This review consisted of 2 parts. The first part was an analysis of Ontario administrative data relating to DXA BMD, wrist and hip fractures, and use of antiresorptive drugs in people aged 65 years and older. The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences extracted data from the OHIP claims database, the Canadian Institute for Health Information hospital discharge abstract database, the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System, and the Ontario Drug Benefit database using OHIP and ICD-10 codes. The data was analyzed to examine the trends in DXA BMD use from 1992 to 2005, and to identify areas requiring improvement.
The second part included systematic reviews and analyses of evidence relating to issues identified in the analyses of utilization data. Altogether, 8 reviews and qualitative syntheses were performed, consisting of 28 published systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses, 34 randomized controlled trials, and 63 observational studies.
Findings of Utilization Analysis
Analysis of administrative data showed a 10-fold increase in the number of BMD tests in Ontario between 1993 and 2005.
OHIP claims for BMD tests are presently increasing at a rate of 6 to 7% per year. Approximately 500,000 tests were performed in 2005/06 with an age-adjusted rate of 8,600 tests per 100,000 population.
Women accounted for 90 % of all BMD tests performed in the province.
In 2005/06, there was a 2-fold variation in the rate of DXA BMD tests across local integrated health networks, but a 10-fold variation between the county with the highest rate (Toronto) and that with the lowest rate (Kenora). The analysis also showed that:
With the increased use of BMD, there was a concomitant increase in the use of antiresorptive drugs (as shown in people 65 years and older) and a decrease in the rate of hip fractures in people age 50 years and older.
Repeat BMD made up approximately 41% of all tests. Most of the people (>90%) who had annual BMD tests in a 2-year or 3-year period were coded as being at high risk for osteoporosis.
18% (20,865) of the people who had a repeat BMD within a 24-month period and 34% (98,058) of the people who had one BMD test in a 3-year period were under 65 years, had no fracture in the year, and coded as low-risk.
Only 19% of people age greater than 65 years underwent BMD testing and 41% received osteoporosis treatment during the year following a fracture.
Men accounted for 24% of all hip fractures and 21 % of all wrist fractures, but only 10% of BMD tests. The rates of BMD tests and treatment in men after a fracture were only half of those in women.
In both men and women, the rate of hip and wrist fractures mainly increased after age 65 with the sharpest increase occurring after age 80 years.
Findings of Systematic Review and Analysis
Serial Bone Mineral Density Testing for People Not Receiving Osteoporosis Treatment
A systematic review showed that the mean rate of bone loss in people not receiving osteoporosis treatment (including postmenopausal women) is generally less than 1% per year. Higher rates of bone loss were reported for people with disease conditions or on medications that affect bone metabolism. In order to be considered a genuine biological change, the change in BMD between serial measurements must exceed the least significant change (variability) of the testing, ranging from 2.77% to 8% for precisions ranging from 1% to 3% respectively. Progression in BMD was analyzed, using different rates of baseline BMD values, rates of bone loss, precision, and BMD value for initiating treatment. The analyses showed that serial BMD measurements every 24 months (as per OHIP policy for low-risk individuals) is not necessary for people with no major risk factors for osteoporosis, provided that the baseline BMD is normal (T-score ≥ –1), and the rate of bone loss is less than or equal to 1% per year. The analyses showed that for someone with a normal baseline BMD and a rate of bone loss of less than 1% per year, the change in BMD is not likely to exceed least significant change (even for a 1% precision) in less than 3 years after the baseline test, and is not likely to drop to a BMD level that requires initiation of treatment in less than 16 years after the baseline test.
Serial Bone Mineral Density Testing in People Receiving Osteoporosis Therapy
Seven published meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 2 recent RCTs on BMD monitoring during osteoporosis therapy showed that although higher increases in BMD were generally associated with reduced risk of fracture, the change in BMD only explained a small percentage of the fracture risk reduction.
Studies showed that some people with small or no increase in BMD during treatment experienced significant fracture risk reduction, indicating that other factors such as improved bone microarchitecture might have contributed to fracture risk reduction.
There is conflicting evidence relating to the role of BMD testing in improving patient compliance with osteoporosis therapy.
Even though BMD may not be a perfect surrogate for reduction in fracture risk when monitoring responses to osteoporosis therapy, experts advised that it is still the only reliable test available for this purpose.
A systematic review conducted by the Medical Advisory Secretariat showed that the magnitude of increases in BMD during osteoporosis drug therapy varied among medications. Although most of the studies yielded mean percentage increases in BMD from baseline that did not exceed the least significant change for a 2% precision after 1 year of treatment, there were some exceptions.
Bone Mineral Density Testing and Treatment After a Fragility Fracture
A review of 3 published pooled analyses of observational studies and 12 prospective population-based observational studies showed that the presence of any prevalent fracture increases the relative risk for future fractures by approximately 2-fold or more. A review of 10 systematic reviews of RCTs and 3 additional RCTs showed that therapy with antiresorptive drugs significantly reduced the risk of vertebral fractures by 40 to 50% in postmenopausal osteoporotic women and osteoporotic men, and 2 antiresorptive drugs also reduced the risk of nonvertebral fractures by 30 to 50%. Evidence from observational studies in Canada and other jurisdictions suggests that patients who had undergone BMD measurements, particularly if a diagnosis of osteoporosis is made, were more likely to be given pharmacologic bone-sparing therapy. Despite these findings, the rate of BMD investigation and osteoporosis treatment after a fracture remained low (<20%) in Ontario as well as in other jurisdictions.
Bone Mineral Density Testing in Men
There are presently no specific Canadian guidelines for BMD screening in men. A review of the literature suggests that risk factors for fracture and the rate of vertebral deformity are similar for men and women, but the mortality rate after a hip fracture is higher in men compared with women. Two bisphosphonates had been shown to reduce the risk of vertebral and hip fractures in men. However, BMD testing and osteoporosis treatment were proportionately low in Ontario men in general, and particularly after a fracture, even though men accounted for 25% of the hip and wrist fractures. The Ontario data also showed that the rates of wrist fracture and hip fracture in men rose sharply in the 75- to 80-year age group.
Ontario-Based Economic Analysis
The economic analysis focused on analyzing the economic impact of decreasing future hip fractures by increasing the rate of BMD testing in men and women age greater than or equal to 65 years following a hip or wrist fracture. A decision analysis showed the above strategy, especially when enhanced by improved reporting of BMD tests, to be cost-effective, resulting in a cost-effectiveness ratio ranging from $2,285 (Cdn) per fracture avoided (worst-case scenario) to $1,981 (Cdn) per fracture avoided (best-case scenario). A budget impact analysis estimated that shifting utilization of BMD testing from the low risk population to high risk populations within Ontario would result in a saving of $0.85 million to $1.5 million (Cdn) to the health system. The potential net saving was estimated at $1.2 million to $5 million (Cdn) when the downstream cost-avoidance due to prevention of future hip fractures was factored into the analysis.
Other Factors for Consideration
There is a lack of standardization for BMD testing in Ontario. Two different standards are presently being used and experts suggest that variability in results from different facilities may lead to unnecessary testing. There is also no requirement for standardized equipment, procedure or reporting format. The current reimbursement policy for BMD testing encourages serial testing in people at low risk of accelerated bone loss. This review showed that biannual testing is not necessary for all cases. The lack of a database to collect clinical data on BMD testing makes it difficult to evaluate the clinical profiles of patients tested and outcomes of the BMD tests. There are ministry initiatives in progress under the Osteoporosis Program to address the development of a mandatory standardized requisition form for BMD tests to facilitate data collection and clinical decision-making. Work is also underway for developing guidelines for BMD testing in men and in perimenopausal women.
Conclusion
Increased use of BMD in Ontario since 1996 appears to be associated with increased use of antiresorptive medication and a decrease in hip and wrist fractures.
Data suggest that as many as 20% (98,000) of the DXA BMD tests in Ontario in 2005/06 were performed in people aged less than 65 years, with no fracture in the current year, and coded as being at low risk for accelerated bone loss; this is not consistent with current guidelines. Even though some of these people might have been incorrectly coded as low-risk, the number of tests in people truly at low risk could still be substantial.
Approximately 4% (21,000) of the DXA BMD tests in 2005/06 were repeat BMDs in low-risk individuals within a 24-month period. Even though this is in compliance with current OHIP reimbursement policies, evidence showed that biannual serial BMD testing is not necessary in individuals without major risk factors for fractures, provided that the baseline BMD is normal (T-score < –1). In this population, BMD measurements may be repeated in 3 to 5 years after the baseline test to establish the rate of bone loss, and further serial BMD tests may not be necessary for another 7 to 10 years if the rate of bone loss is no more than 1% per year. Precision of the test needs to be considered when interpreting serial BMD results.
Although changes in BMD may not be the perfect surrogate for reduction in fracture risk as a measure of response to osteoporosis treatment, experts advised that it is presently the only reliable test for monitoring response to treatment and to help motivate patients to continue treatment. Patients should not discontinue treatment if there is no increase in BMD after the first year of treatment. Lack of response or bone loss during treatment should prompt the physician to examine whether the patient is taking the medication appropriately.
Men and women who have had a fragility fracture at the hip, spine, wrist or shoulder are at increased risk of having a future fracture, but this population is presently under investigated and under treated. Additional efforts have to be made to communicate to physicians (particularly orthopaedic surgeons and family physicians) and the public about the need for a BMD test after fracture, and for initiating treatment if low BMD is found.
Men had a disproportionately low rate of BMD tests and osteoporosis treatment, especially after a fracture. Evidence and fracture data showed that the risk of hip and wrist fractures in men rises sharply at age 70 years.
Some counties had BMD utilization rates that were only 10% of that of the county with the highest utilization. The reasons for low utilization need to be explored and addressed.
Initiatives such as aligning reimbursement policy with current guidelines, developing specific guidelines for BMD testing in men and perimenopausal women, improving BMD reports to assist in clinical decision making, developing a registry to track BMD tests, improving access to BMD tests in remote/rural counties, establishing mechanisms to alert family physicians of fractures, and educating physicians and the public, will improve the appropriate utilization of BMD tests, and further decrease the rate of fractures in Ontario. Some of these initiatives such as developing guidelines for perimenopausal women and men, and developing a standardized requisition form for BMD testing, are currently in progress under the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy.
PMCID: PMC3379167  PMID: 23074491
4.  WNT16 Influences Bone Mineral Density, Cortical Bone Thickness, Bone Strength, and Osteoporotic Fracture Risk 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(7):e1002745.
We aimed to identify genetic variants associated with cortical bone thickness (CBT) and bone mineral density (BMD) by performing two separate genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses for CBT in 3 cohorts comprising 5,878 European subjects and for BMD in 5 cohorts comprising 5,672 individuals. We then assessed selected single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for osteoporotic fracture in 2,023 cases and 3,740 controls. Association with CBT and forearm BMD was tested for ∼2.5 million SNPs in each cohort separately, and results were meta-analyzed using fixed effect meta-analysis. We identified a missense SNP (Thr>Ile; rs2707466) located in the WNT16 gene (7q31), associated with CBT (effect size of −0.11 standard deviations [SD] per C allele, P = 6.2×10−9). This SNP, as well as another nonsynonymous SNP rs2908004 (Gly>Arg), also had genome-wide significant association with forearm BMD (−0.14 SD per C allele, P = 2.3×10−12, and −0.16 SD per G allele, P = 1.2×10−15, respectively). Four genome-wide significant SNPs arising from BMD meta-analysis were tested for association with forearm fracture. SNP rs7776725 in FAM3C, a gene adjacent to WNT16, was associated with a genome-wide significant increased risk of forearm fracture (OR = 1.33, P = 7.3×10−9), with genome-wide suggestive signals from the two missense variants in WNT16 (rs2908004: OR = 1.22, P = 4.9×10−6 and rs2707466: OR = 1.22, P = 7.2×10−6). We next generated a homozygous mouse with targeted disruption of Wnt16. Female Wnt16−/− mice had 27% (P<0.001) thinner cortical bones at the femur midshaft, and bone strength measures were reduced between 43%–61% (6.5×10−13
Author Summary
Bone traits are highly dependent on genetic factors. To date, numerous genetic loci for bone mineral density (BMD) and only one locus for osteoporotic fracture have been previously identified to be genome-wide significant. Cortical bone has been reported to be an important determinant of bone strength; so far, no genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been performed for cortical bone thickness (CBT) of the tibial and radial diaphysis or BMD at forearm, a skeletal site rich in cortical bone. Therefore, we performed two separated meta-analyses of GWAS for cortical thickness of the tibia in 3 independent cohorts of 5,878 men and women, and for forearm BMD in 5 cohorts of 5,672 individuals. We identified the 7q31 locus, which contains WNT16, to be associated with CBT and BMD. Four SNPs from this locus were then tested in 2,023 osteoporotic fracture cases and 3,740 controls. One of these SNPs was genome-wide significant, and two were genome-wide suggestive, for forearm fracture. Generating a mouse with targeted disruption of Wnt16, we also demonstrated that mice lacking this protein had substantially thinner bone cortices and reduced bone strength than their wild-type littermates. These findings highlight WNT16 as a clinically relevant member of the Wnt signaling pathway and increase our understanding of the etiology of osteoporosis-related phenotypes and fracture.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002745
PMCID: PMC3390364  PMID: 22792071
Bone  2008;43(3):607-612.
Introduction
Fracture risk is associated with bone mineral density (BMD) and with other indices of bone strength, including hip geometry. While the heritability and associated fracture risk of BMD are well described, less is known about genetic influences of bone geometry. We derived hip structural phenotypes using the Hip Structural Analysis Program (HSA) and performed autosome-wide linkage analysis of hip geometric structural phenotypes.
Materials and Methods
The Amish Family Osteoporosis Study was designed to identify genes affecting bone health. BMD was measured at the hip using dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 879 participants (mean age ± SD = 49.8 ± 16.1 yrs, range 18–91 yrs) from large multigenerational families. From DXA scans, we computed structural measures of hip geometry at the femoral neck (NN) and shaft (S) by HSA, including cross sectional area (CSA), endocortical or inner diameter (ID), outer diameter (OD) buckling ratio (BR) and section modulus (Z). Genotyping of 731 highly polymorphic microsatellite markers (average spacing of 5.4 cM) and autosome-wide multipoint linkage analysis was performed.
Results
The heritability of HSA-derived hip phenotypes ranged from 40 to 84%. In the group as a whole, autosome-wide linkage analysis suggested evidence of linkage for QTLs related to NN_Z on chromosome 1p36 (LOD=2.36). In sub-group analysis, ten additional suggestive regions of linkage were found on chromosomes 1, 2, 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 17, all with LOD ≥ 2.3 except for our linkage at 17q11.2–13 for men and women age 50 and under for NN_CSA, which had a lower LOD of 2.16, but confirmed a previous linkage report.
Conclusions
We found HSA-derived measures of hip structure to be highly heritable independent of BMD. No strong evidence of linkage was found for any phenotype. Confirmatory evidence of linkage was found on chromosome 17q11.2–12 for NN_CSA. Modest evidence was found for genes affecting hip structural phenotypes at ten other chromosomal locations.
doi:10.1016/j.bone.2008.04.005
PMCID: PMC2591020  PMID: 18555766
hip structural phenotype; bone geometry; heritability; genetics; autosome-wide scan
PLoS Genetics  2010;6(6):e1000977.
Osteoporosis is a complex disorder and commonly leads to fractures in elderly persons. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have become an unbiased approach to identify variations in the genome that potentially affect health. However, the genetic variants identified so far only explain a small proportion of the heritability for complex traits. Due to the modest genetic effect size and inadequate power, true association signals may not be revealed based on a stringent genome-wide significance threshold. Here, we take advantage of SNP and transcript arrays and integrate GWAS and expression signature profiling relevant to the skeletal system in cellular and animal models to prioritize the discovery of novel candidate genes for osteoporosis-related traits, including bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN), as well as geometric indices of the hip (femoral neck-shaft angle, NSA; femoral neck length, NL; and narrow-neck width, NW). A two-stage meta-analysis of GWAS from 7,633 Caucasian women and 3,657 men, revealed three novel loci associated with osteoporosis-related traits, including chromosome 1p13.2 (RAP1A, p = 3.6×10−8), 2q11.2 (TBC1D8), and 18q11.2 (OSBPL1A), and confirmed a previously reported region near TNFRSF11B/OPG gene. We also prioritized 16 suggestive genome-wide significant candidate genes based on their potential involvement in skeletal metabolism. Among them, 3 candidate genes were associated with BMD in women. Notably, 2 out of these 3 genes (GPR177, p = 2.6×10−13; SOX6, p = 6.4×10−10) associated with BMD in women have been successfully replicated in a large-scale meta-analysis of BMD, but none of the non-prioritized candidates (associated with BMD) did. Our results support the concept of our prioritization strategy. In the absence of direct biological support for identified genes, we highlighted the efficiency of subsequent functional characterization using publicly available expression profiling relevant to the skeletal system in cellular or whole animal models to prioritize candidate genes for further functional validation.
Author Summary
BMD and hip geometry are two major predictors of osteoporotic fractures, the most severe consequence of osteoporosis in elderly persons. We performed sex-specific genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for BMD at the lumbar spine and femor neck skeletal sites as well as hip geometric indices (NSA, NL, and NW) in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study and then replicated the top findings in two independent studies. Three novel loci were significant: in women, including chromosome 1p13.2 (RAP1A) for NW; in men, 2q11.2 (TBC1D8) for NSA and 18q11.2 (OSBPL1A) for NW. We confirmed a previously reported region on 8q24.12 (TNFRSF11B/OPG) for lumbar spine BMD in women. In addition, we integrated GWAS signals with eQTL in several tissues and publicly available expression signature profiling in cellular and whole-animal models, and prioritized 16 candidate genes/loci based on their potential involvement in skeletal metabolism. Among three prioritized loci (GPR177, SOX6, and CASR genes) associated with BMD in women, GPR177 and SOX6 have been successfully replicated later in a large-scale meta-analysis, but none of the non-prioritized candidates (associated with BMD) did. Our results support the concept of using expression profiling to support the candidacy of suggestive GWAS signals that may contain important genes of interest.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000977
PMCID: PMC2883588  PMID: 20548944
BoneKEy reports  2012;1:114.
Increased rates of osteoporotic fractures represent a worldwide phenomenon, which result from a progressing aging in the population around the world and creating socioeconomic problems. This review will focus mostly on human genetic studies identifying genomic regions, genes and mutations associated with osteoporosis (bone mineral density (BMD) and bone loss) and related fractures, which were published during 2011. Although multiple genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed to date, the genetic cause of osteoporosis and fractures has not yet been found, and only a small fraction of high heritability of bone mass was successfully explained. GWAS is a successful tool to initially define and prioritize specific chromosomal regions showing associations with the desired traits or diseases. Following the initial discovery and replication, targeted sequencing is needed in order to detect those rare variants which GWAS does not reveal by design. Recent GWAS findings for BMD included WNT16 and MEF2C. The role of bone morphogenetic proteins in fracture healing has been explored by several groups, and new single-nucleotide polymorphisms present in genes such as NOGGIN and SMAD6 were found to be associated with a greater risk of fracture non-union. Finding new candidate genes, and mutations associated with BMD and fractures, also provided new biological connections. Thus, candidates for molecular link between bone metabolism and lactation (for example, RAP1A gene), as well as possible pleiotropic effects for bone and muscle (ACTN3 gene) were suggested. The focus of contemporary studies seems to move toward whole-genome sequencing, epigenetic and functional genomics strategies to find causal variants for osteoporosis.
doi:10.1038/bonekey.2012.114
PMCID: PMC3727733  PMID: 23951496
Journal of Osteoporosis  2011;2011:243465.
Introduction. The association of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) with BMD and risk of fracture was suggested by a recent linkage study, but subsequent studies have been contradictory. We report the results of a study of the relationship between BMP2 genotypes and BMD, annual change in BMD, and risk of fracture in male subjects. Materials and Methods. We tested three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the BMP2 gene, including Ser37Ala SNP, in 342 Caucasian Englishmen, comprising 224 control and 118 osteoporotic subjects. Results. BMP2 SNP1 (Ser37Ala) genotypes were found to have similar low frequency in control subjects and men with osteoporosis. The major informative polymorphism, BMP2 SNP3 (Arg190Ser), showed no statistically significant association with weight, height, BMD, change in BMD at hip or lumbar spine, and risk of fracture. Conclusion. There were no genotypic or haplotypic effects of the BMP2 candidate gene on BMD, change in BMD, or fracture risk identified in this cohort.
doi:10.4061/2011/243465
PMCID: PMC3195445  PMID: 22013543
Lancet  2008;371(9623):1505-1512.
Summary
Background
Osteoporosis is diagnosed by the measurement of bone mineral density, which is a highly heritable and multifactorial trait. We aimed to identify genetic loci that are associated with bone mineral density.
Methods
In this genome-wide association study, we identified the most promising of 314 075 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 2094 women in a UK study. We then tested these SNPs for replication in 6463 people from three other cohorts in western Europe. We also investigated allelic expression in lymphoblast cell lines. We tested the association between the replicated SNPs and osteoporotic fractures with data from two studies.
Findings
We identified genome-wide evidence for an association between bone mineral density and two SNPs (p<5×10−8). The SNPs were rs4355801, on chromosome 8, near to the TNFRSF11B (osteoprotegerin) gene, and rs3736228, on chromosome 11 in the LRP5 (lipoprotein-receptor-related protein) gene. A non-synonymous SNP in the LRP5 gene was associated with decreased bone mineral density (rs3736228, p=6·3×10−12 for lumbar spine and p=1·9×10−4 for femoral neck) and an increased risk of both osteoporotic fractures (odds ratio [OR] 1·3, 95% CI 1·09–1·52, p=0·002) and osteoporosis (OR 1·3, 1·08–1·63, p=0·008). Three SNPs near the TNFRSF11B gene were associated with decreased bone mineral density (top SNP, rs4355801: p=7·6×10−10 for lumbar spine and p=3·3×10−8 for femoral neck) and increased risk of osteoporosis (OR 1·2, 95% CI 1·01–1·42, p=0·038). For carriers of the risk allele at rs4355801, expression of TNFRSF11B in lymphoblast cell lines was halved (p=3·0×10−6). 1883 (22%) of 8557 people were at least heterozygous for these risk alleles, and these alleles had a cumulative association with bone mineral density (trend p=2·3×10−17). The presence of both risk alleles increased the risk of osteoporotic fractures (OR 1·3, 1·08–1·63, p=0·006) and this effect was independent of bone mineral density.
Interpretation
Two gene variants of key biological proteins increase the risk of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture. The combined effect of these risk alleles on fractures is similar to that of most well-replicated environmental risk factors, and they are present in more than one in five white people, suggesting a potential role in screening.
Funding
Wellcome Trust, European Commission, NWO Investments, Arthritis Research Campaign, Chronic Disease Research Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Genome Canada, Genome Quebéc, Canada Research Chairs, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and European Union.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60599-1
PMCID: PMC2679414  PMID: 18455228
Summary
Objectives
Sex steroids are important regulators of bone physiology and play an essential role in the maintenance of bone health throughout the life. Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment commonly used to relieve symptoms and some undesirable consequences of menopause such as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, characterized by the loss of bone mass and deterioration of microarchitecture with a consequent higher risk of fragility fractures, is under genetic influence. A tetranucleotide (TTTA)n microsatellite repeat polymorphism, at intron 4 of the CYP19 (aromatase) gene, has been previously associated with higher lumbar spine bone mineral density (LS-BMD) and lower risk of spine fracture in postmenopausal women. Moreover, the ERα encoded by the ESR1 gene is another important candidate for the regulation of bone mass of menopause. Moreover prospective analysis from >18.000 subjects at the GENOMOS study indicated that XX homozygotes genotype had a reduced risk of fracture independently from BMD.
In the present study, we investigated in postmenopausal Italian women, at baseline and after 1 year of HRT, whether ESR1 and CYP19 gene polymorphisms could affect BMD through different statistical models.
Methods
This study has been performed on 100 post-menopausal Italian women, from a larger group of 250. The study group was administred HRT and LS-BMD was measured at baseline and after 1 year of therapy. Genetic analysis evaluating ESR1 and CYP19 gene polymorphisms was performed.
Results
Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) test showed that women with normal LS-BMD at the baseline had a major statistically significant BMD increase of 0.1426 gr/cm2 (p= 0.0001) with respect to the osteoporotic patients. In addition, subjects with genotype 1 and 2 of CYP19 gene had a lower modification in LS-BMD after 1 year of HRT (0.0837 gr/cm2 and 0,076 g/cm2; p=0.0470 and 0,0547 respectively) when compared to genotype 3. No influences of the aromatase genotypes were observed in the variable difference using both Anova and GLMs test. Regarding the ESR1 gene polymorphism, the LS-BMD after 1 year of HRT was influenced by the diagnosis at the baseline and height and ERα genotypes were able to influence difference with statistical significant results with both test.
Conclusions
In the present study, we have demonstrated that CYP19 gene polymorphism is able to influence the effect of 1 year HRT on LS-BMD with no influence on pre-/ and post-/HRT LS-BMD differences. Although ESR1 gene polymorphism is not able to influence the LS-BMD after 1 year HRT, it influences the observed modifications during the year of therapy. These data underlie the complexity of the genetics of the bone mass and its importance in influencing the response to HRT.
PMCID: PMC4064439  PMID: 25002878
CYP19 gene; ESR1 gene; polymorphism; Hormonal Replace Therapy (HRT)
BMC Medical Genetics  2007;8(Suppl 1):S14.
Background
Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and compromised bone structure, heritable traits that contribute to fracture risk. There have been no genome-wide association and linkage studies for these traits using high-density genotyping platforms.
Methods
We used the Affymetrix 100K SNP GeneChip marker set in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) to examine genetic associations with ten primary quantitative traits: bone mineral density (BMD), calcaneal ultrasound, and geometric indices of the hip. To test associations with multivariable-adjusted residual trait values, we used additive generalized estimating equation (GEE) and family-based association tests (FBAT) models within each sex as well as sexes combined. We evaluated 70,987 autosomal SNPs with genotypic call rates ≥80%, HWE p ≥ 0.001, and MAF ≥10% in up to 1141 phenotyped individuals (495 men and 646 women, mean age 62.5 yrs). Variance component linkage analysis was performed using 11,200 markers.
Results
Heritability estimates for all bone phenotypes were 30–66%. LOD scores ≥3.0 were found on chromosomes 15 (1.5 LOD confidence interval: 51,336,679–58,934,236 bp) and 22 (35,890,398–48,603,847 bp) for femoral shaft section modulus. The ten primary phenotypes had 12 associations with 100K SNPs in GEE models at p < 0.000001 and 2 associations in FBAT models at p < 0.000001. The 25 most significant p-values for GEE and FBAT were all less than 3.5 × 10-6 and 2.5 × 10-5, respectively. Of the 40 top SNPs with the greatest numbers of significantly associated BMD traits (including femoral neck, trochanter, and lumbar spine), one half to two-thirds were in or near genes that have not previously been studied for osteoporosis. Notably, pleiotropic associations between BMD and bone geometric traits were uncommon. Evidence for association (FBAT or GEE p < 0.05) was observed for several SNPs in candidate genes for osteoporosis, such as rs1801133 in MTHFR; rs1884052 and rs3778099 in ESR1; rs4988300 in LRP5; rs2189480 in VDR; rs2075555 in COLIA1; rs10519297 and rs2008691 in CYP19, as well as SNPs in PPARG (rs10510418 and rs2938392) and ANKH (rs2454873 and rs379016). All GEE, FBAT and linkage results are provided as an open-access results resource at .
Conclusion
The FHS 100K SNP project offers an unbiased genome-wide strategy to identify new candidate loci and to replicate previously suggested candidate genes for osteoporosis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-8-S1-S14
PMCID: PMC1995606  PMID: 17903296
Lancet  2008;371(9623):1505-1512.
Summary
Background
Osteoporosis is diagnosed by the measurement of bone mineral density, which is a highly heritable and multifactorial trait. We aimed to identify genetic loci that are associated with bone mineral density.
Methods
In this genome-wide association study, we identified the most promising of 314 075 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 2094 women in a UK study. We then tested these SNPs for replication in 6463 people from three other cohorts in western Europe. We also investigated allelic expression in lymphoblast cell lines. We tested the association between the replicated SNPs and osteoporotic fractures with data from two studies.
Findings
We identified genome-wide evidence for an association between bone mineral density and two SNPs (p<5×10−8). The SNPs were rs4355801, on chromosome 8, near to the TNFRSF11B (osteoprotegerin) gene, and rs3736228, on chromosome 11 in the LRP5 (lipoprotein-receptor-related protein) gene. A non-synonymous SNP in the LRP5 gene was associated with decreased bone mineral density (rs3736228, p=6·3×10−12 for lumbar spine and p=1·9×10−4 for femoral neck) and an increased risk of both osteoporotic fractures (odds ratio [OR] 1·3, 95% CI 1·09–1·52, p=0·002) and osteoporosis (OR 1·3, 1·08–1·63, p=0·008). Three SNPs near the TNFRSF11B gene were associated with decreased bone mineral density (top SNP, rs4355801: p=7·6×10−10 for lumbar spine and p=3·3×10−8 for femoral neck) and increased risk of osteoporosis (OR 1·2, 95% CI 1·01–1·42, p=0·038). For carriers of the risk allele at rs4355801, expression of TNFRSF11B in lymphoblast cell lines was halved (p=3·0×10−6). 1883 (22%) of 8557 people were at least heterozygous for these risk alleles, and these alleles had a cumulative association with bone mineral density (trend p=2·3×10−17). The presence of both risk alleles increased the risk of osteoporotic fractures (OR 1·3, 1·08–1·63, p=0·006) and this effect was independent of bone mineral density.
Interpretation
Two gene variants of key biological proteins increase the risk of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture. The combined effect of these risk alleles on fractures is similar to that of most well-replicated environmental risk factors, and they are present in more than one in five white people, suggesting a potential role in screening.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60599-1
PMCID: PMC2679414  PMID: 18455228
In contrast to conventional dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, quantitative computed tomography separately measures trabecular and cortical volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD). Little is known about the genetic variants associated with trabecular and cortical vBMD in humans, although both may be important for determining bone strength and osteoporotic risk. In the current analysis, we tested the hypothesis that there are genetic variants associated with trabecular and cortical vBMD at the femoral neck by genotyping 4608 tagging and potentially functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 383 bone metabolism candidate genes in 822 Caucasian men aged 65 years or older from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS). Promising SNP associations then were tested for replication in an additional 1155 men from the same study. We identified SNPs in five genes (IFNAR2, NFATC1, SMAD1, HOXA, and KLF10) that were robustly associated with cortical vBMD and SNPs in nine genes (APC, ATF2, BMP3, BMP7, FGF18, FLT1, TGFB3, THRB, and RUNX1) that were robustly associated with trabecular vBMD. There was no overlap between genes associated with cortical vBMD and trabecular vBMD. These findings identify novel genetic variants for cortical and trabecular vBMD and raise the possibility that some genetic loci may be unique for each bone compartment. © 2010 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
doi:10.1359/jbmr.090729
PMCID: PMC3153388  PMID: 19619005
osteoporosis; Genetics; BMD; men; qCT
Jama  2008;299(11):1277-1290.
Context
Mutations in the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5) gene cause rare syndromes characterized by altered bone mineral density (BMD). More common LRP5 variants may affect osteoporosis risk in the general population.
Objective
To generate large-scale evidence on whether 2 common variants of LRP5 (Val667Met, Ala1330Val) and 1 variant of LRP6 (Ile1062Val) are associated with BMD and fracture risk.
Design and Setting
Prospective, multicenter, collaborative study of individual-level data on 37 534 individuals from 18 participating teams in Europe and North America. Data were collected between September 2004 and January 2007; analysis of the collected data was performed between February and May 2007. Bone mineral density was assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Fractures were identified via questionnaire, medical records, or radiographic documentation; incident fracture data were available for some cohorts, ascertained via routine surveillance methods, including radiographic examination for vertebral fractures.
Main Outcome Measures
Bone mineral density of the lumbar spine and femoral neck; prevalence of all fractures and vertebral fractures.
Results
The Met667 allele of LRP5 was associated with reduced lumbar spine BMD (n =25 052 [number of participants with available data]; 20-mg/cm2 lower BMD per Met667 allele copy; P=3.3 × 10−8), as was the Val1330 allele (n = 24 812; 14-mg/cm2 lower BMD per Val1330 copy; P=2.6 × 10−9). Similar effects were observed for femoral neck BMD, with a decrease of 11 mg/cm2 (P =3.8 × 10−5) and 8 mg/cm2 (P=5.0×10−6) for the Met667 and Val1330 alleles, respectively (n=25 193). Findings were consistent across studies for both LRP5 alleles. Both alleles were associated with vertebral fractures (odds ratio [OR], 1.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08–1.47 for Met667 [2001 fractures among 20 488 individuals] and OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.01–1.24 for Val1330 [1988 fractures among 20 096 individuals]). Risk of all fractures was also increased with Met667 (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.05–1.24 per allele [7876 fractures among 31 435 individuals)]) and Val1330 (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01–1.12 per allele [7802 fractures among 31 199 individuals]). Effects were similar when adjustments were made for age, weight, height, menopausal status, and use of hormone therapy. Fracture risks were partly attenuated by adjustment for BMD. Haplotype analysis indicated that Met667 and Val1330 variants both independently affected BMD. The LRP6 Ile1062Val polymorphism was not associated with any osteoporosis phenotype. All aforementioned associations except that between Val1330 and all fractures and vertebral fractures remained significant after multiple-comparison adjustments.
Conclusions
Common LRP5 variants are consistently associated with BMD and fracture risk across different white populations. The magnitude of the effect is modest. LRP5 may be the first gene to reach a genome-wide significance level (a conservative level of significance [herein, unadjusted P<10−7] that accounts for the many possible comparisons in the human genome) for a phenotype related to osteoporosis.
doi:10.1001/jama.299.11.1277
PMCID: PMC3282142  PMID: 18349089
Background
Fragility fractures caused by osteoporosis are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in aging populations. Bone mineral density (BMD) is a useful surrogate marker for risk of fracture and is a highly heritable trait. The genetic variants underlying this genetic contribution are largely unknown.
Methods
We performed a large-scale association study investigating more than 25,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located within 16,000 genes. Allele frequencies were estimated in contrasting DNA pools from white females selected for low (<0.87 g/cm2, n = 319) and high (> 1.11 g/cm2, n = 321) BMD at the lumbar spine. Significant findings were verified in two additional sample collections.
Results
Based on allele frequency differences between DNA pools and subsequent individual genotyping, one of the candidate loci indicated was the phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D) gene region on chromosome 5q12. We subsequently tested the marker SNP, rs1498608, in a second sample of 138 white females with low (<0.91 g/cm2) and 138 females with high (>1.04 g/cm2) lumbar spine BMD. Odds ratios were 1.5 (P = 0.035) in the original sample and 2.1 (P = 0.018) in the replication sample. Association fine mapping with 80 SNPs located within 50 kilobases of the marker SNP identified a 20 kilobase region of association containing exon 6 of PDE4D. In a second, family-based replication sample with a preponderance of females with low BMD, rs1498608 showed an opposite relationship with BMD at different sites (p = 0.00044-0.09). We also replicated the previously reported association of the Ser37Ala polymorphism in BMP2, known to interact biologically with PDE4D, with BMD.
Conclusion
This study indicates that variants in the gene encoding PDE4D account for some of the genetic contribution to bone mineral density variation in humans. The contrasting results from different samples indicate that the effect may be context-dependent. PDE4 inhibitors have been shown to increase bone mass in normal and osteopenic mice, but up until now there have been no reports implicating any member of the PDE4 gene family in human osteoporosis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-6-9
PMCID: PMC554993  PMID: 15752431
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(4):e90.
Background
Osteoporosis and fracture risk are considered to be under genetic control. Extensive work is being performed to identify the exact genetic variants that determine this risk. Previous work has suggested that a G/T polymorphism affecting an Sp1 binding site in the COLIA1 gene is a genetic marker for low bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporotic fracture, but there have been no very-large-scale studies of COLIA1 alleles in relation to these phenotypes.
Methods and Findings
Here we evaluated the role of COLIA1 Sp1 alleles as a predictor of BMD and fracture in a multicenter study involving 20,786 individuals from several European countries. At the femoral neck, the average (95% confidence interval [CI]) BMD values were 25 mg/cm 2 (CI, 16 to 34 mg/cm 2) lower in TT homozygotes than the other genotype groups ( p < 0.001), and a similar difference was observed at the lumbar spine; 21 mg/cm 2 (CI, 1 to 42 mg/cm 2), ( p = 0.039). These associations were unaltered after adjustment for potential confounding factors. There was no association with fracture overall (odds ratio [OR] = 1.01 [CI, 0.95 to 1.08]) in either unadjusted or adjusted analyses, but there was a non-significant trend for association with vertebral fracture and a nominally significant association with incident vertebral fractures in females (OR = 1.33 [CI, 1.00 to 1.77]) that was independent of BMD, and unaltered in adjusted analyses.
Conclusions
Allowing for the inevitable heterogeneity between participating teams, this study—which to our knowledge is the largest ever performed in the field of osteoporosis genetics for a single gene—demonstrates that the COLIA1 Sp1 polymorphism is associated with reduced BMD and could predispose to incident vertebral fractures in women, independent of BMD. The associations we observed were modest however, demonstrating the importance of conducting studies that are adequately powered to detect and quantify the effects of common genetic variants on complex diseases.
A large collaborative European study finds only weak links between a much studied potential genetic risk factor and bone mineral density or fracture risk.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030090
PMCID: PMC1370920  PMID: 16475872
Bone  2010;46(4):1114-1121.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) using high-density array of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) offer an unbiased strategy to identify new candidate genes for osteoporosis.
We used a subset of autosomal SNPs from the Affymetrix 500K+50K SNP GeneChip marker set to examine genetic linkage with multiple highly heritable osteoporosis-related traits, including BMD of the hip and spine, heel ultrasound (attenuation and speed of sound), and geometric indices of the hip, in two generations from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Variance component linkage analysis was performed using normalized residuals (adjusted for age, height, BMI, and estrogen status in women).
Multipoint linkage analyses produced LOD scores ≥ 3.0 for BMD on chromosomes (chr.) 9 and 11, and for ultrasound speed of sound on chr. 5. Hip geometric traits were linked with higher LOD scores, such as with Shaft Width on chr. 4 (LOD = 3.9) and chr. 16 (LOD = 3.8), and with Shaft section modulus on chr. 22 (LOD = 4.0). LOD score ≥ 5.0 was obtained for femoral Neck Width on chr. 7.
In conclusion, with a SNP-based linkage approach, we identified several novel potential QTLs and confirmed previously identified chromosomal regions linked to bone mass and geometry. Subsequent focus on the spectrum of genetic polymorphisms in these refined regions may contribute to finding variants predisposing to osteoporosis.
doi:10.1016/j.bone.2010.01.001
PMCID: PMC2842472  PMID: 20064633
quantitative trait loci; BMD; bone geometry; osteoporosis; SNP array
Bone  2006;40(3):737-742.
Osteoporotic fractures are a leading cause of disability and, indirectly, of death in the elderly population. Previous studies have shown that homocysteine level and the C677T polymorphism in the gene encoding methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) may be involved in the development of osteoporosis and its related fracture in European populations. The aim of this study was to verify the association of this polymorphism with bone mineral density (BMD) and fractures in our 1899 Chinese postmenopausal women. The C677T T-allele frequency in this population was 39.2%. The distribution of the MTHFR genotypes followed the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. BMD at total body, total hip or femoral neck did not significantly vary with MTHFR C677T genotype. The T-allele carrier tended to have higher risk of having osteoporosis or osteopenia, but the difference was statistically insignificant. However, Poisson regression analysis revealed that the T-allele carriers had an increased risk of fractures (RR=1.7, 95%CI=1.1–2.7, p=0.01) which occurred before or after menopause. As far as fracture incidence after menopause was concerned, the CT or TT genotype had more than twice the risk of the CC genotype (RR=2.5, 95%CI=1.2–4.9, P=0.009). This association was independent of age, physical activity, occupation, passive smoking, height, weight, years since menopause, and total hip BMD.
Our data show that the MTHFR C677T polymorphism is an independent predictor of fracture risk, although it only had a weak effect on BMD. Further study on the mechanistic role that this polymorphism plays in the development of fractures may lead to better understanding of the etiology of osteoporotic fracture.
doi:10.1016/j.bone.2006.09.031
PMCID: PMC1855293  PMID: 17174622
Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Gene; Fracture; Osteoporosis; Genetics; Postmenopausal Women
Calcified tissue international  2008;83(3):155-166.
Candidate osteoporosis gene variants were examined for associations with fracture risk and bone mineral density (BMD). A total of 9704 white women were recruited at four U.S. clinical centers and enrolled into the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures, a longitudinal cohort study. Genotyping of 31 polymorphisms from 18 candidate osteoporosis genes was performed in 6752 women. Incident radiographic fractures were identified at the third and eighth examinations compared with the baseline examination. BMD was measured at the total hip by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Analyses were adjusted for age, clinic site, and self-reported ethnicity. During a mean follow-up of 14.5 years, a total of 849 hip, 658 vertebral, and 2496 nonhip/nonvertebral fractures occurred in 6752 women. Women carrying the ALOX15_G48924T T/T genotype had a higher rate of hip fracture (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.33;95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.00–1.77) compared with the G/G genotype. Compared with those carrying the PRL_T228C T/T genotype, women with either the C/C (HR = 0.80; 95% CI = 0.67–0.95) or C/T (HR = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.68–0.97) genotype had a lower rate of nonvertebral/nonhip fractures. Women carrying theBMP2_A125611G G/G genotype had a higher rate of vertebral fracture (odds ratio [OR] = 1.51; 95% CI = 1.03–2.23) compared with the A/A genotype. Women with the ESR1_C1335G G/G genotype had a higher rate of vertebral fracture (OR = 1.64; 95% CI = 1.07–2.50) compared with the C/C genotype. Compared with those with the MMP2_C595T C/C genotype, women with the C/T (OR = 0.79; 95% CI = 0.65–0.96) or T/T (OR = 0.44; 95% CI = 0.27–0.72) genotype had a lower rate of vertebral fracture. In conclusion, polymorphisms in several candidate genes were associated with hip, vertebral, and nonhip/nonvertebral fractures but not with total hip BMD in this large population based cohort study.
doi:10.1007/s00223-008-9165-y
PMCID: PMC2699257  PMID: 18787887
Genetics; Polymorphism; Osteoporosis; BMD; Fracture
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(4):e1001372.
Osteoporotic fracture is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Low bone mineral density (BMD) is a major predisposing factor to fracture and is known to be highly heritable. Site-, gender-, and age-specific genetic effects on BMD are thought to be significant, but have largely not been considered in the design of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of BMD to date. We report here a GWAS using a novel study design focusing on women of a specific age (postmenopausal women, age 55–85 years), with either extreme high or low hip BMD (age- and gender-adjusted BMD z-scores of +1.5 to +4.0, n = 1055, or −4.0 to −1.5, n = 900), with replication in cohorts of women drawn from the general population (n = 20,898). The study replicates 21 of 26 known BMD–associated genes. Additionally, we report suggestive association of a further six new genetic associations in or around the genes CLCN7, GALNT3, IBSP, LTBP3, RSPO3, and SOX4, with replication in two independent datasets. A novel mouse model with a loss-of-function mutation in GALNT3 is also reported, which has high bone mass, supporting the involvement of this gene in BMD determination. In addition to identifying further genes associated with BMD, this study confirms the efficiency of extreme-truncate selection designs for quantitative trait association studies.
Author Summary
Osteoporotic fracture is a major cause of early mortality and morbidity in the community. To identify genes associated with osteoporosis, we have performed a genome-wide association study. In order to improve study power and to address the demographic group of highest risk from osteoporotic fracture, we have used a unique study design, studying 1,955 postmenopausal women with either extreme high or low hip bone mineral density. We then confirmed our findings in 20,898 women from the general population. Our study replicated 21 of 26 known osteoporosis genes, and it identified a further six novel loci (in or nearby CLCN7, GALNT3, IBSP, LTBP3, RSPO3, and SOX4). For one of these loci, GALTN3, we demonstrate in a mouse model that a loss-of-function genetic mutation in GALNT3 causes high bone mass. These findings report novel mechanisms by which osteoporosis can arise, and they significantly add to our understanding of the aetiology of the disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001372
PMCID: PMC3080863  PMID: 21533022
Bone  2014;64:166-172.
Osteoporosis is a common complex disorder with reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and increased susceptibility to fracture. Peak BMD is one of the primary determinants of osteoporotic fracture risk, and is under substantial genetic control. Extracellular matrix, a major component of bone, influences BMD by regulating mineral deposition and maintaining cellular activity. It contains several SIBLING family proteins, null mutations of which cause mineralization defects in humans. In this study, we tested 59 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in the 5 SIBLING family genes (DSPP, DMP1, IBSP, MEPE and SPP1) for association with normal variation in peak BMD in healthy men and women. We measured femoral neck (FN) and lumbar spine (LS) areal BMD by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 1,692 premenopausal European-American women, 512 premenopausal African-American women and 715 European-American men. SNPs were tested for association with FN and LS BMD in the 3 subsamples. In the European-American women, we observed association (p≤0.005) with LS-BMD for SNPs in DSPP, IBSP and MEPE, and for FN-BMD with SNPs in DMP1 and IBSP. Allele specific regulation of gene expression (ASE) is an important mechanism in which an allele giving rise to modest influence in transcript abundance might result in a predisposition to disease. To identify whether there was ASE of SIBLING family genes at these SNPs, we examined 52 human bone samples obtained from the femoral neck during surgical hip replacement (27 female, 25 male; 44 European-American and 8 African-American). We observed unidirectional ASE for the IBSP gene, with lower expression of the G allele compared to the A allele for SNP rs17013181. Our data suggest that SNPs within the SIBLING genes may contribute to normal variation of peak BMD. Further studies are necessary to identify the functional variants and to determine the mechanisms underlying the differences in ASE and how these differences relate to the pathophysiology of osteoporosis.
doi:10.1016/j.bone.2014.04.013
PMCID: PMC4080809  PMID: 24747200
Bone mineral density; Osteoporosis; Genetic association; SIBLING genes; Allele specific expression
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(10):1-12.
Background
Vitamin K has been widely promoted as a supplement for decreasing bone loss in postmenopausal women, but the long-term benefits and potential harms are unknown. This study was conducted to determine whether daily high-dose vitamin K1 supplementation safely reduces bone loss, bone turnover, and fractures.
Methods and Findings
This single-center study was designed as a 2-y randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, extended for earlier participants for up to an additional 2 y because of interest in long-term safety and fractures. A total of 440 postmenopausal women with osteopenia were randomized to either 5 mg of vitamin K1 or placebo daily. Primary outcomes were changes in BMD at the lumbar spine and total hip at 2 y. Secondary outcomes included changes in BMD at other sites and other time points, bone turnover markers, height, fractures, adverse effects, and health-related quality of life. This study has a power of 90% to detect 3% differences in BMD between the two groups. The women in this study were vitamin D replete, with a mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 77 nmol/l at baseline. Over 2 y, BMD decreased by −1.28% and −1.22% (p = 0.84) (difference of −0.06%; 95% confidence interval [CI] −0.67% to 0.54%) at the lumbar spine and −0.69% and −0.88% (p = 0.51) (difference of 0.19%; 95% CI −0.37% to 0.75%) at the total hip in the vitamin K and placebo groups, respectively. There were no significant differences in changes in BMD at any site between the two groups over the 2- to 4-y period. Daily vitamin K1 supplementation increased serum vitamin K1 levels by 10-fold, and decreased the percentage of undercarboxylated osteocalcin and total osteocalcin levels (bone formation marker). However, C-telopeptide levels (bone resorption marker) were not significantly different between the two groups. Fewer women in the vitamin K group had clinical fractures (nine versus 20, p = 0.04) and fewer had cancers (three versus 12, p = 0.02). Vitamin K supplements were well-tolerated over the 4-y period. There were no significant differences in adverse effects or health-related quality of life between the two groups. The study was not powered to examine fractures or cancers, and their numbers were small.
Conclusions
Daily 5 mg of vitamin K1 supplementation for 2 to 4 y does not protect against age-related decline in BMD, but may protect against fractures and cancers in postmenopausal women with osteopenia. More studies are needed to further examine the effect of vitamin K on fractures and cancers.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (#NCT00150969) and Current Controlled Trials (#ISRCTN61708241)
Angela Cheung and colleagues investigate whether vitamin K1 can prevent bone loss among postmenopausal women with osteopenia.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bones gradually become less dense and more likely to break. In the US, 10 million people have osteoporosis and 18 million have osteopenia, a milder condition that precedes osteoporosis. In both conditions, insufficient new bone is made and/or too much old bone is absorbed. Although bone appears solid and unchanging, very little bone in the human body is more than 10 y old. Old bone is continually absorbed and new bone built using calcium, phosphorous, and proteins. Because the sex hormones control calcium and phosphorous deposition in the bones and thus bone strength, the leading cause of osteoporosis in women is reduced estrogen levels after menopause. In men, an age-related decline in testosterone levels can cause osteoporosis. Most people discover they have osteoporosis only when they break a bone, but the condition can be diagnosed and monitored using bone mineral density (BMD) scans. Treatments can slow down or reverse bone loss (antiresorptive therapies) and some (bone formation therapies) can even make bone and build bone tissue.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although regular exercise and a healthy diet can help to keep bones strong, other ways of preventing osteoporosis are badly needed. Recently, the lay media has promoted vitamin K supplements as a way to reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women. Vitamin K (which is found mainly in leafy green vegetables) is required for a chemical modification of proteins called carboxylation. This modification is essential for the activity of three bone-building proteins. In addition, there is some evidence that low bone density and fractures are associated with a low vitamin K intake. However, little is known about the long-term benefits or harms of vitamin K supplements. In this study, the researchers investigate whether a high-dose daily vitamin K supplement can safely reduce bone loss, bone turnover, and fractures in postmenopausal women with osteopenia in a randomized controlled trial called the “Evaluation of the Clinical Use of Vitamin K Supplementation in Post-Menopausal Women With Osteopenia” (ECKO) trial.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In the study, 440 postmenopausal women with osteopenia were randomized to receive 5mg of vitamin K1 (the type of vitamin K in North American food; the recommended daily adult intake of vitamin K1 is about 0.1 mg) or an inactive tablet (placebo) daily for 2 y; 261 of the women continued their treatment for 2 y to gather information about the long-term effects of vitamin K1 supplementation. All the women had regular bone density scans of their lower back and hips and were examined for fractures and for changes in bone turnover. After 2 y and after 4 y, lower back and hip bone density measurements had decreased by similar amounts in both treatment groups. The women who took vitamin K1 had 10-fold higher amounts of vitamin K1 in their blood than the women who took placebo and lower amounts of a bone formation marker; the levels of a bone resorption marker were similar in both groups. Over the 4-y period, fewer women in the vitamin K group had fractures (nine versus 20 women in the placebo group), and fewer had cancer (three versus 12). Finally, vitamin K supplementation was well tolerated over the 4-y period and adverse health effects were similar in the two treatment groups.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that a high daily dose of vitamin K1 provides no protection against the age-related decline in bone density in postmenopausal women with osteopenia, but that vitamin K1 supplementation may protect against fractures and cancers in these women. The apparent contradiction between the effects of vitamin K1 on bone density and on fractures could mean that vitamin K1 supplements strengthen bone by changing factors other than bone density, e.g., by changing its fine structure rather than making it denser. However, because so few study participants had fractures, the difference in the fracture rate between the two treatment groups might have occurred by chance. Larger studies are therefore needed to examine the effect of vitamin K1 on fractures (and on cancer) and, until these are done, high-dose vitamin K1 supplementation should not be recommended for the prevention of osteoporosis.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050196.
The US National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases provides detailed information about osteoporosis (in English and Spanish) and links to other resources, including an interactive web tool called Check Up On Your Bones
MedlinePlus provides links to additional information about osteoporosis (in English and Spanish)
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has a page about vitamin K
The UK Food Standards Agency provides information about vitamin K
Full details about the ECKO trial are available on the ClinicalTrials.gov Web site
The Canadian Task Force for Preventive Health Care provides recommendations on the prevention of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women
Osteoporosis Canada provides information on current topics related to osteoporosis
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050196
PMCID: PMC2566998  PMID: 18922041
Annals of internal medicine  2009;151(8):528-537.
Background
Osteoporosis is a highly heritable trait. Many candidate genes have been proposed as being involved in regulating bone mineral density (BMD). Few of these findings have been replicated in independent studies.
Objective
To assess the relationship between BMD and fracture and all common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in previously proposed osteoporosis candidate genes.
Design
Large-scale meta-analysis of genome-wide association data.
Setting
5 international, multicenter, population-based studies.
Participants
Data on BMD were obtained from 19 195 participants (14 277 women) from 5 populations of European origin. Data on fracture were obtained from a prospective cohort (n = 5974) from the Netherlands.
Measurements
Systematic literature review using the Human Genome Epidemiology Navigator identified autosomal genes previously evaluated for association with osteoporosis. We explored the common SNPs arising from the haplotype map of the human genome (HapMap) across all these genes. BMD at the femoral neck and lumbar spine was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Fractures were defined as clinically apparent, site-specific, validated nonvertebral and vertebral low-energy fractures.
Results
150 candidate genes were identified and 36 016 SNPs in these loci were assessed. SNPs from 9 gene loci (ESR1, LRP4, ITGA1, LRP5, SOST, SPP1, TNFRSF11A, TNFRSF11B, and TN-FSF11) were associated with BMD at either site. For most genes, no SNP was statistically significant. For statistically significant SNPs (n = 241), effect sizes ranged from 0.04 to 0.18 SD per allele. SNPs from the LRP5, SOST, SPP1, and TNFRSF11A loci were significantly associated with fracture risk; odds ratios ranged from 1.13 to 1.43 per allele. These effects on fracture were partially independent of BMD at SPP1 and SOST.
Limitation
Only common polymorphisms in linkage disequilibrium with SNPs in HapMap could be assessed, and previously reported associations for SNPs in some candidate genes could not be excluded.
Conclusion
In this large-scale collaborative genome-wide meta-analysis, 9 of 150 candidate genes were associated with regulation of BMD, 4 of which also significantly affected risk for fracture. However, most candidate genes had no consistent association with BMD.
Primary Funding Source
European Union, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Research Institute for Diseases in the Elderly, Netherlands Genomics Initiative, Wellcome Trust, National Institutes of Health, deCODE Genetics, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
PMCID: PMC2842981  PMID: 19841454
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e22462.
Susceptibility to osteoporotic fracture is influenced by genetic factors that can be dissected by whole-genome linkage analysis in experimental animal crosses. The aim of this study was to characterize quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for biomechanical and two-dimensional dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) phenotypes in reciprocal F2 crosses between diabetic GK and normo-glycemic F344 rat strains and to identify possible co-localization with previously reported QTLs for bone size and structure. The biomechanical measurements of rat tibia included ultimate force, stiffness and work to failure while DXA was used to characterize tibial area, bone mineral content (BMC) and areal bone mineral density (aBMD). F2 progeny (108 males, 98 females) were genotyped with 192 genome-wide markers followed by sex- and reciprocal cross-separated whole-genome QTL analyses. Significant QTLs were identified on chromosome 8 (tibial area; logarithm of odds (LOD) = 4.7 and BMC; LOD = 4.1) in males and on chromosome 1 (stiffness; LOD = 5.5) in females. No QTLs showed significant sex-specific interactions. In contrast, significant cross-specific interactions were identified on chromosome 2 (aBMD; LOD = 4.7) and chromosome 6 (BMC; LOD = 4.8) for males carrying F344mtDNA, and on chromosome 15 (ultimate force; LOD = 3.9) for males carrying GKmtDNA, confirming the effect of reciprocal cross on osteoporosis-related phenotypes. By combining identified QTLs for biomechanical-, size- and qualitative phenotypes (pQCT and 3D CT) from the same population, overlapping regions were detected on chromosomes 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 10. These are strong candidate regions in the search for genetic risk factors for osteoporosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022462
PMCID: PMC3144887  PMID: 21818327
Human Genomics  2013;7(1):21.
Background
Osteoporosis has a multifactorial pathogenesis characterized by a combination of low bone mass and increased fragility. In our study, we focused on the effects of polymorphisms in CER1 and DKK1 genes, recently reported as important susceptibility genes for osteoporosis, on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone markers in osteoporotic women. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of CER1 and DKK1 variations in 607 postmenopausal women. The entire DKK1 gene sequence and five selected CER1 SNPs were amplified and resequenced to assess whether there is a correlation between these genes and BMD, early menopause, and bone turnover markers in osteoporotic patients.
Results
Osteoporotic women seem to suffer menopause 2 years earlier than the control group. The entire DKK1 gene sequence analysis revealed six variations. There was no correlation between the six DKK1 variations and osteoporosis, in contrast to the five common CER1 variations that were significantly associated with BMD. Additionally, osteoporotic patients with rs3747532 and rs7022304 CER1 variations had significantly higher serum levels of parathyroid hormone and calcitonin and lower serum levels of osteocalcin and IGF-1.
Conclusions
No significant association between the studied DKK1 variations and osteoporosis was found, while CER1 variations seem to play a significant role in the determination of osteoporosis and a potential predictive role, combined with bone markers, in postmenopausal osteoporotic women.
doi:10.1186/1479-7364-7-21
PMCID: PMC3844872  PMID: 24138842
CER1; DKK1; SNPs; Bone markers; Fracture; Menopause

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