PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (49)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Year of Publication
1.  Meta-Analysis of Genome-Wide Studies Identifies MEF2C SNPs Associated with Bone Mineral Density at Forearm 
Journal of medical genetics  2013;50(7):473-478.
Background
Forearm fractures affect 1.7 million individuals worldwide each year and most occur earlier in life than hip fractures. While the heritability of forearm bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture is high, their genetic determinants are largely unknown.
Aim
To identify genetic variants associated with forearm BMD and forearm fractures.
Methods
BMD at distal radius measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was tested for association with common genetic variants. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for BMD in 5,866 subjects of European descent and then selected variants for replication in 715 Mexican American samples. Gene-based association was carried out to supplement the single-SNP test. We then tested the BMD-associated SNPs for association with forearm fracture in 2,023 cases and 3,740 controls.
Results
We found that five SNPs in the introns of MEF2C were associated with forearm BMD at a genome-wide significance level (P<5×10−8) in meta-analysis (lead SNP, rs11951031[T] −0.20 standard deviations per allele, P=9.01×10−9). The gene-based association test suggested an association between MEF2C and forearm BMD (P=0.003). The association between MEF2C variants and risk of fracture did not achieve statistical significance (SNP rs12521522[A]: odds ratio = 1.14 [95% CI: 0.92–1.35], P = 0.14). Meta analysis also revealed two genome-wide suggestive loci at CTNNA2 and 6q23.2.
Conclusion
These findings demonstrate that variants at MEF2C were associated with forearm BMD thereby implicating this gene in the determination of bone mineral density at forearm.
doi:10.1136/jmedgenet-2012-101287
PMCID: PMC3769185  PMID: 23572186
Genome-wide association study; Osteoporosis; Bone mineral density; Forearm; Fracture; Meta-analysis; Gene-base; Conditional analysis
2.  Phenotypic Dissection of Bone Mineral Density Reveals Skeletal Site Specificity and Facilitates the Identification of Novel Loci in the Genetic Regulation of Bone Mass Attainment 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(6):e1004423.
Heritability of bone mineral density (BMD) varies across skeletal sites, reflecting different relative contributions of genetic and environmental influences. To quantify the degree to which common genetic variants tag and environmental factors influence BMD, at different sites, we estimated the genetic (rg) and residual (re) correlations between BMD measured at the upper limbs (UL-BMD), lower limbs (LL-BMD) and skull (SK-BMD), using total-body DXA scans of ∼4,890 participants recruited by the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and their Children (ALSPAC). Point estimates of rg indicated that appendicular sites have a greater proportion of shared genetic architecture (LL-/UL-BMD rg = 0.78) between them, than with the skull (UL-/SK-BMD rg = 0.58 and LL-/SK-BMD rg = 0.43). Likewise, the residual correlation between BMD at appendicular sites (re = 0.55) was higher than the residual correlation between SK-BMD and BMD at appendicular sites (re = 0.20–0.24). To explore the basis for the observed differences in rg and re, genome-wide association meta-analyses were performed (n∼9,395), combining data from ALSPAC and the Generation R Study identifying 15 independent signals from 13 loci associated at genome-wide significant level across different skeletal regions. Results suggested that previously identified BMD-associated variants may exert site-specific effects (i.e. differ in the strength of their association and magnitude of effect across different skeletal sites). In particular, variants at CPED1 exerted a larger influence on SK-BMD and UL-BMD when compared to LL-BMD (P = 2.01×10−37), whilst variants at WNT16 influenced UL-BMD to a greater degree when compared to SK- and LL-BMD (P = 2.31×10−14). In addition, we report a novel association between RIN3 (previously associated with Paget's disease) and LL-BMD (rs754388: β = 0.13, SE = 0.02, P = 1.4×10−10). Our results suggest that BMD at different skeletal sites is under a mixture of shared and specific genetic and environmental influences. Allowing for these differences by performing genome-wide association at different skeletal sites may help uncover new genetic influences on BMD.
Author Summary
The heritability of bone mineral density (BMD) varies across skeletal sites, reflecting different relative contributions of genetic and environmental influences. To investigate whether the genes underlying bone acquisition act in a site-specific manner, we quantified the shared genetic influences across axial and appendicular skeletal sites by estimating the genetic and residual correlation of BMD at the upper limb, lower limb and the skull. Our results suggest that different skeletal sites as measured by total-body Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry are to a certain extent under distinct genetic and environmental influences. To further explore the basis for these differences, genome-wide association meta-analyses were performed to identify genetic loci that are preferentially associated with one or more skeletal regions. Variants at 13 loci (including RIN3, a novel BMD associated locus) reached genome-wide significance and several displayed evidence of differential association with BMD across the different skeletal sites in particular CPED1 and WNT16. Our results suggest that it may be advantageous to decompose the total-body BMD measures and perform GWAS at separate skeletal regions. By allowing for site-specific differences, new genetic variants affecting BMD and future risk of osteoporosis may be uncovered.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004423
PMCID: PMC4063697  PMID: 24945404
3.  Probiotics Protect Mice from Ovariectomy-Induced Cortical Bone Loss 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92368.
The gut microbiota (GM) modulates the hosts metabolism and immune system. Probiotic bacteria are defined as live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host and can alter the composition of the GM. Germ-free mice have increased bone mass associated with reduced bone resorption indicating that the GM also regulates bone mass. Ovariectomy (ovx) results in bone loss associated with altered immune status. The purpose of this study was to determine if probiotic treatment protects mice from ovx-induced bone loss. Mice were treated with either a single Lactobacillus (L) strain, L. paracasei DSM13434 (L. para) or a mixture of three strains, L. paracasei DSM13434, L. plantarum DSM 15312 and DSM 15313 (L. mix) given in the drinking water during 6 weeks, starting two weeks before ovx. Both the L. para and the L. mix treatment protected mice from ovx-induced cortical bone loss and bone resorption. Cortical bone mineral content was higher in both L. para and L. mix treated ovx mice compared to vehicle (veh) treated ovx mice. Serum levels of the resorption marker C-terminal telopeptides and the urinary fractional excretion of calcium were increased by ovx in the veh treated but not in the L. para or the L. mix treated mice. Probiotic treatment reduced the expression of the two inflammatory cytokines, TNFα and IL-1β, and increased the expression of OPG, a potent inhibitor of osteoclastogenesis, in cortical bone of ovx mice. In addition, ovx decreased the frequency of regulatory T cells in bone marrow of veh treated but not probiotic treated mice. In conclusion, treatment with L. para or the L. mix prevents ovx-induced cortical bone loss. Our findings indicate that these probiotic treatments alter the immune status in bone resulting in attenuated bone resorption in ovx mice.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092368
PMCID: PMC3956931  PMID: 24637895
4.  aP2-Cre-Mediated Inactivation of Estrogen Receptor Alpha Causes Hydrometra 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85581.
In this study we describe the reproductive phenotypes of a novel mouse model in which Cre-mediated deletion of ERα is regulated by the aP2 (fatty acid binding protein 4) promoter. ERα-floxed mice were crossed with transgenic mice expressing Cre-recombinase under the control of the aP2 promoter to generate aP2-Cre/ERαflox/flox mice. As expected, ERα mRNA levels were reduced in adipose tissue, but in addition we also detected an 80% reduction of ERα levels in the hypothalamus of aP2-Cre/ERαflox/flox mice. Phenotypic analysis revealed that aP2-Cre/ERαflox/flox female mice were infertile. In line with this, aP2-Cre/ERαflox/flox female mice did not cycle and presented 3.8-fold elevated estrogen levels. That elevated estrogen levels were associated with increased estrogen signaling was evidenced by increased mRNA levels of the estrogen-regulated genes lactoferrin and aquaporin 5 in the uterus. Furthermore, aP2-Cre/ERαflox/flox female mice showed an accumulation of intra-uterine fluid, hydrometra, without overt indications for causative anatomical anomalies. However, the vagina and cervix displayed advanced keratosis with abnormal quantities of accumulating squamous epithelial cells suggesting functional obstruction by keratin plugs. Importantly, treatment of aP2-Cre/ERαflox/flox mice with the aromatase inhibitor Letrozole caused regression of the hydrometra phenotype linking increased estrogen levels to the observed phenotype. We propose that in aP2-Cre/ERαflox/flox mice, increased serum estrogen levels cause over-stimulation in the uterus and genital tracts resulting in hydrometra and vaginal obstruction.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085581
PMCID: PMC3885723  PMID: 24416430
5.  The prevalence of moderate to severe radiographic sacroiliitis and the correlation with health status in elderly Swedish men – The MrOS study 
Background
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease with onset in young adults, but little is known about the prevalence in older age groups. Furthermore, there is very limited information of health status of elderly patients with AS. Our objective was to estimate the prevalence of moderate to severe radiographic sacroiliitis in elderly men and its impact on health.
Methods
A cross-sectional, population-based survey, that included 1005 men aged 69-81 years old, with the primary aim to study risk factors for osteoporosis (MrOS), was used. X-rays of the pelvis and spine were done for the whole population and then examined by two readers. The prevalences of grade 3-4 sacroiliitis, syndesmophytes and spondylophytes were ascertained. Using a self-administered questionnaire, information was obtained on physical activity (PASE), functional status (IADL items), health related quality of life - QoL (SF-12) and back pain (pain question, Quebec Pain Disability Scale items).
Results
Fourteen cases with grade 3-4 sacroiliitis were identified, corresponding to a prevalence of 1.4% (95%CI: 0.7-2.4). Eight of the patients with sacroiliitis had both AS-typical and degenerative changes in the spine, 4 had only degenerative changes and 2 had only AS-related changes. There were no statistically significant differences between those with and without radiographic sacroiliitis regarding demographics, anthropometric measures, smoking status or health status, reflected by measures on physical activity, functional status, health related QoL and back pain.
Conclusions
The prevalence of moderate to severe radiographic sacroiliitis was estimated to be 1.4% among elderly men in Sweden. Self-reported health was only slightly different in those with sacroiliitis, suggesting that the relative impact of AS is modest in this age group.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-352
PMCID: PMC3878735  PMID: 24330533
6.  Bone microarchitecture in ankylosing spondylitis and the association with bone mineral density, fractures, and syndesmophytes 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R179.
Introduction
Osteoporosis of the axial skeleton is a known complication of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), but bone loss affecting the peripheral skeleton is less studied. This study on volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) and bone microarchitecture in AS was conducted to compare peripheral vBMD in AS patients with that in healthy controls, to study vBMD in axial compared with peripheral bone, and to explore the relation between vertebral fractures, spinal osteoproliferation, and peripheral bone microarchitecture and density.
Methods
High-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HRpQCT) of ultradistal radius and tibia and QCT and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of lumbar spine were performed in 69 male AS patients (NY criteria). Spinal radiographs were assessed for vertebral fractures and syndesmophyte formation (mSASSS). The HRpQCT measurements were compared with the measurements of healthy controls.
Results
The AS patients had lower cortical vBMD in radius (P = 0.004) and lower trabecular vBMD in tibia (P = 0.033), than did the controls. Strong correlations were found between trabecular vBMD in lumbar spine, radius (rS = 0.762; P < 0.001), and tibia (rS = 0.712; P < 0.001).
When compared with age-matched AS controls, patients with vertebral fractures had lower lumbar cortical vBMD (-22%; P = 0.019), lower cortical cross-sectional area in radius (-28.3%; P = 0.001) and tibia (-24.0%; P = 0.013), and thinner cortical bone in radius (-28.3%; P = 0.001) and tibia (-26.9%; P = 0.016).
mSASSS correlated negatively with trabecular vBMD in lumbar spine (rS = -0.620; P < 0.001), radius (rS = -0.400; p = 0.001) and tibia (rS = -0.475; p < 0.001) and also with trabecular thickness in radius (rS = -0.528; P < 0.001) and tibia (rS = -0.488; P < 0.001).
Adjusted for age, syndesmophytes were significantly associated with decreasing trabecular vBMD, but increasing cortical vBMD in lumbar spine, but not with increasing cortical thickness or density in peripheral bone. Estimated lumbar vBMD by DXA correlated with trabecular vBMD measured by QCT (rS = 0.636; P < 0.001).
Conclusions
Lumbar osteoporosis, syndesmophytes, and vertebral fractures were associated with both lower vBMD and deteriorated microarchitecture in peripheral bone. The results indicate that trabecular bone loss is general, whereas osteoproliferation is local in AS.
doi:10.1186/ar4368
PMCID: PMC3978766  PMID: 24517240
7.  Inferior physical performance tests in 10,998 men in the MrOS study is associated with recurrent falls 
Age and Ageing  2012;41(6):740-746.
Background: recurrent fallers are at especially high risk for injuries.
Objective: to study whether tests of physical performance are associated with recurrent falls.
Subjects: a total of 10,998 men aged 65 years or above.
Methods: questionnaires evaluated falls sustained 12 months preceding testing of grip strength, timed stand, 6-m walk and 20-cm narrow walk test. Means with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) are reported. P < 0.01 is a statistically significant difference.
Results: in comparison to both occasional fallers and non-fallers, recurrent fallers performed more poorly on all the physical ability tests (all P < 0.001). A score below −2 standard deviations (SDs) in the right-hand grip strength test was associated with an odds ratio of 2.4 (95% CI 1.7, 3.4) for having had recurrent falls compared with having had no fall and of 2.0 (95% CI 1.3, 3.4) for having had recurrent falls compared with having had an occasional fall.
Conclusion: low performance in physical ability tests are in elderly men associated with recurrent falls.
doi:10.1093/ageing/afs104
PMCID: PMC3476829  PMID: 22923607
falls; men; muscle; older people; physical performance tests; recurrent
8.  Sex Hormones and Serum Phosphorus in Older Men: The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOs) Study 
Kidney international  2010;78(4):415-422.
Older women have higher phosphorus levels than men. Estradiol causes phosphaturia in rodents. Whether sex hormones associate with phosphorus levels in humans is unknown. In 1,346 community-living older men, we evaluate the cross-sectional association of sex hormones with serum phosphorus, using linear regression with serum phosphorus levels as the dependent variable. Mean age was 76 years, phosphorus was 3.2±0.4mg/dl, and 18% had moderate kidney disease. Each 10pg/ml higher total estradiol associated with 0.05mg/dL lower serum phosphorus levels (95 % CI −0.09 to −0.02; P < 0.01) in a model adjusted for age, race, testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin, calcium, eGFR, intact PTH, 25(OH) vitamin D, body mineral density, and alkaline phosphatase. Results were similar in individuals with or without CKD. Serum testosterone levels were also associated with lower serum phosphorus levels (β per 200ng/dL greater total testosterone = −0.08; 95% CI −0.13 to −0.04; P < 0.001). Results were confirmed in an independent sample of 2,555 older men, and associations were not attenuated when adjusted for fibroblast growth factor-23 levels. Estradiol may induce phosphaturia in humans. Future studies are required to elucidate potential effects of testosterone on phosphorus homeostasis.
doi:10.1038/ki.2010.161
PMCID: PMC3787687  PMID: 20531458
Phosphorus; estradiol; testosterone; menopause; sex hormones; kidney disease; cardiovascular disease
9.  Resveratrol Treatment Delays Growth Plate Fusion and Improves Bone Growth in Female Rabbits 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67859.
Trans-resveratrol (RES), naturally produced by many plants, has a structure similar to synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol, but any effect on bone growth has not yet been clarified. Pre-pubertal ovary-intact New Zealand white rabbits received daily oral administration of either vehicle (control) or RES (200 mg/kg) until growth plate fusion occurred. Bone growth and growth plate size were longitudinally monitored by X-ray imaging, while at the endpoint, bone length was assessed by a digital caliper. In addition, pubertal ovariectomized (OVX) rabbits were treated with vehicle, RES or estradiol cypionate (positive control) for 7 or 10 weeks and fetal rat metatarsal bones were cultured in vitro with RES (0.03 µM–50 µM) and followed for up to 19 days. In ovary-intact rabbits, sixteen-week treatment with RES increased tibiae and vertebrae bone growth and subsequently improved final length. In OVX rabbits, RES delayed fusion of the distal tibia, distal femur and proximal tibia epiphyses and femur length and vertebral bone growth increased when compared with controls. Histomorphometrical analysis showed that RES-treated OVX rabbits had a wider distal femur growth plate, enlarged resting zone, increased number/size of hypertrophic chondrocytes, increased height of the hypertrophic zone, and suppressed chondrocyte expression of VEGF and laminin. In cultured fetal rat metatarsal bones, RES stimulated growth at 0.3 µM while at higher concentrations (10 μM and 50 μM) growth was inhibited. We conclude that RES has the potential to improve longitudinal bone growth. The effect was associated with a delay of growth plate fusion resulting in increased final length. These effects were accompanied by a profound suppression of VEGF and laminin expression suggesting that impairment of growth plate vascularization might be an underlying mechanism.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067859
PMCID: PMC3695926  PMID: 23840780
10.  Liver-derived endocrine IGF-I is not critical for activation of skeletal muscle protein synthesis following oral feeding 
BMC Physiology  2013;13:7.
Background
Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is produced in various tissues to stimulate protein synthesis under different conditions. It is however, difficult to distinguish effects by locally produced IGF-1 compared to liver-derived IGF-1 appearing in the circulation. In the present study the role of liver-derived endocrine IGF-I for activation of skeletal muscle protein synthesis following feeding was evaluated.
Results
Transgenic female mice with selective knockout of the IGF-I gene in hepatocytes were freely fed, starved overnight and subsequently refed for 3 hours and compared to wild types (wt). Liver IGF-I knockout mice had 70% reduced plasma IGF-I. Starvation decreased and refeeding increased muscle protein synthesis (p < 0.01), similarly in both IGF-I knockouts and wt mice. Phosphorylation of p70s6k and mTOR increased and 4EBP1 bound to eIF4E decreased in both IGF-I knockouts and wt mice after refeeding (p < 0.05). Muscle transcripts of IGF-I decreased and IGF-I receptor increased (p < 0.01) in wild types during starvation but similar alterations did not reach significance in knockouts (p>0.05). mTOR mRNA increased in knockouts only during starvation. Plasma glucose decreased during starvation in all groups in parallel to insulin, while plasma IGF-I and GH did not change significantly among the groups during starvation-refeeding. Plasma amino acids declined and increased during starvation-refeeding in wild type mice (p < 0.05), but less so in IGF-I (−/−) knockouts (p < 0.08).
Conclusion
This study demonstrates that re-synthesis of muscle proteins following starvation is not critically dependent on endocrine liver-derived IGF-I.
doi:10.1186/1472-6793-13-7
PMCID: PMC3659091  PMID: 23657003
IGF-I; Muscle protein synthesis; Cell signaling; Amino acid
11.  Inferior physical performance test results of 10,998 men in the MrOS Study is associated with high fracture risk 
Age and Ageing  2012;41(3):339-344.
Background: most fractures are preceded by falls.
Objective: the aim of this study was to determine whether tests of physical performance are associated with fractures.
Subjects: a total of 10,998 men aged 65 years or above were recruited.
Methods: questionnaires evaluated falls sustained 12 months before administration of the grip strength test, the timed stand test, the six-metre walk test and the twenty-centimetre narrow walk test. Means with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) are reported. P < 0.05 is a statistically significant difference.
Results: fallers with a fracture performed worse than non-fallers on all tests (all P < 0.001). Fallers with a fracture performed worse than fallers with no fractures both on the right-hand-grip strength test and on the six-metre walk test (P < 0.001). A score below –2 standard deviations in the right-hand-grip strength test was associated with an odds ratio of 3.9 (95% CI: 2.1–7.4) for having had a fall with a fracture compared with having had no fall and with an odds ratio of 2.6 (95% CI: 1.3–5.2) for having had a fall with a fracture compared with having had a fall with no fracture.
Conclusion: the right-hand-grip strength test and the six-metre walk test performed by old men help discriminate fallers with a fracture from both fallers with no fracture and non-fallers.
doi:10.1093/ageing/afs010
PMCID: PMC3335372  PMID: 22314696
falls; fractures; men; old; physical performance tests; elderly
12.  Comparisons of Immunoassay and Mass Spectrometry Measurements of Serum Estradiol Levels and Their Influence on Clinical Association Studies in Men 
Context:
Immunoassay-based techniques, routinely used to measure serum estradiol (E2), are known to have reduced specificity, especially at lower concentrations, when compared with the gold standard technique of mass spectrometry (MS). Different measurement techniques may be responsible for the conflicting results of associations between serum E2 and clinical phenotypes in men.
Objective:
Our objective was to compare immunoassay and MS measurements of E2 levels in men and evaluate associations with clinical phenotypes.
Design and Setting:
Middle-aged and older male subjects participating in the population-based Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Sweden study (n = 2599), MrOS US (n = 688), and the European Male Aging Study (n = 2908) were included.
Main Outcome Measures:
Immunoassay and MS measurements of serum E2 were compared and related to bone mineral density (BMD; measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) and ankle-brachial index.
Results:
Within each cohort, serum E2 levels obtained by immunoassay and MS correlated moderately (Spearman rank correlation coefficient rS 0.53–0.76). Serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels associated significantly (albeit to a low extent, rS = 0.29) with immunoassay E2 but not with MS E2 levels. Similar associations of immunoassay E2 and MS E2 were seen with lumbar spine and total hip BMD, independent of serum CRP. However, immunoassay E2, but not MS E2, associated inversely with ankle-brachial index, and this correlation was lost after adjustment for CRP.
Conclusions:
Our findings suggest interference in the immunoassay E2 analyses, possibly by CRP or a CRP-associated factor. Although associations with BMD remain unaffected, this might imply for a reevaluation of previous association studies between immunoassay E2 levels and inflammation-related outcomes.
doi:10.1210/jc.2012-3861
PMCID: PMC3667264  PMID: 23633197
13.  Resveratrol Is Not as Effective as Physical Exercise for Improving Reproductive and Metabolic Functions in Rats with Dihydrotestosterone-Induced Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a reproductive and metabolic disorder associated with obesity and insulin resistance that often precedes the development of type-2 diabetes. Rats continuously exposed to dihydrotestosterone from prepuberty display typical reproductive and metabolic PCOS characteristics including anovulation, polycystic ovaries, insulin resistance, and obesity. Our aim was to investigate if resveratrol improves reproductive and metabolic functions in PCOS rats. The effect was compared to exercise. Control and PCOS rats were treated with vehicle or resveratrol (400 mg · kg−1 · day−1) for 5-6 weeks. Another group of PCOS rats received vehicle treatment and exercised for 5-6 weeks. Insulin sensitivity was determined by euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. The glucose infusion rate was lower in the PCOS-vehicle group compared to control-vehicle rats (P < 0.05). Exercise increased insulin sensitivity compared with PCOS-vehicle rats (P < 0.05), but resveratrol did not. Resveratrol treatment and exercise resulted in smaller adipocytes, upregulated estrogen-related receptor α gene expression in subcutaneous fat, and improved estrus cyclicity in the previously acyclic PCOS rats. Although resveratrol had positive effects on adiposity and cyclicity in a similar manner to exercise, resveratrol does not seem to be a good candidate for treating insulin resistance associated with PCOS because no improvement in insulin sensitivity was observed in PCOS rats on normal chow.
doi:10.1155/2013/964070
PMCID: PMC3638597  PMID: 23690868
14.  Genetic Determinants of Trabecular and Cortical Volumetric Bone Mineral Densities and Bone Microstructure 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(2):e1003247.
Most previous genetic epidemiology studies within the field of osteoporosis have focused on the genetics of the complex trait areal bone mineral density (aBMD), not being able to differentiate genetic determinants of cortical volumetric BMD (vBMD), trabecular vBMD, and bone microstructural traits. The objective of this study was to separately identify genetic determinants of these bone traits as analysed by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT). Separate GWA meta-analyses for cortical and trabecular vBMDs were performed. The cortical vBMD GWA meta-analysis (n = 5,878) followed by replication (n = 1,052) identified genetic variants in four separate loci reaching genome-wide significance (RANKL, rs1021188, p = 3.6×10−14; LOC285735, rs271170, p = 2.7×10−12; OPG, rs7839059, p = 1.2×10−10; and ESR1/C6orf97, rs6909279, p = 1.1×10−9). The trabecular vBMD GWA meta-analysis (n = 2,500) followed by replication (n = 1,022) identified one locus reaching genome-wide significance (FMN2/GREM2, rs9287237, p = 1.9×10−9). High-resolution pQCT analyses, giving information about bone microstructure, were available in a subset of the GOOD cohort (n = 729). rs1021188 was significantly associated with cortical porosity while rs9287237 was significantly associated with trabecular bone fraction. The genetic variant in the FMN2/GREM2 locus was associated with fracture risk in the MrOS Sweden cohort (HR per extra T allele 0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.60–0.93) and GREM2 expression in human osteoblasts. In conclusion, five genetic loci associated with trabecular or cortical vBMD were identified. Two of these (FMN2/GREM2 and LOC285735) are novel bone-related loci, while the other three have previously been reported to be associated with aBMD. The genetic variants associated with cortical and trabecular bone parameters differed, underscoring the complexity of the genetics of bone parameters. We propose that a genetic variant in the RANKL locus influences cortical vBMD, at least partly, via effects on cortical porosity, and that a genetic variant in the FMN2/GREM2 locus influences GREM2 expression in osteoblasts and thereby trabecular number and thickness as well as fracture risk.
Author Summary
Osteoporosis is a common highly heritable skeletal disease characterized by reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and deteriorated bone microstructure, resulting in an increased risk of fracture. Most previous genetic epidemiology studies have focused on the genetics of the complex trait BMD, not being able to separate genetic determinants of the trabecular and cortical bone compartments and bone microstructure. The trabecular and cortical BMDs can be analysed separately by computed tomography. Therefore, we performed separate genome-wide association studies for trabecular and cortical BMDs, demonstrating that the genetic determinants of cortical and trabecular BMDs differ. Genetic variants in the RANKL, LOC285735, OPG, and ESR1 loci were associated with cortical BMD, while a genetic variant in the FMN2/GREM2 locus was associated with trabecular BMD. Two of these are novel bone-related loci. Follow-up analyses of bone microstructure demonstrated that a genetic variant in the RANKL locus is associated with cortical porosity and that the FMN2/GREM2 locus is associated with trabecular number and thickness. We propose that a genetic variant in the RANKL locus influences cortical BMD via effects on cortical porosity, and that a genetic variant in the FMN2/GREM2 locus influences trabecular BMD and fracture risk via effects on both trabecular number and thickness.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003247
PMCID: PMC3578773  PMID: 23437003
15.  Causal Relationship between Obesity and Vitamin D Status: Bi-Directional Mendelian Randomization Analysis of Multiple Cohorts 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(2):e1001383.
A mendelian randomization study based on data from multiple cohorts conducted by Karani Santhanakrishnan Vimaleswaran and colleagues re-examines the causal nature of the relationship between vitamin D levels and obesity.
Background
Obesity is associated with vitamin D deficiency, and both are areas of active public health concern. We explored the causality and direction of the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] using genetic markers as instrumental variables (IVs) in bi-directional Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis.
Methods and Findings
We used information from 21 adult cohorts (up to 42,024 participants) with 12 BMI-related SNPs (combined in an allelic score) to produce an instrument for BMI and four SNPs associated with 25(OH)D (combined in two allelic scores, separately for genes encoding its synthesis or metabolism) as an instrument for vitamin D. Regression estimates for the IVs (allele scores) were generated within-study and pooled by meta-analysis to generate summary effects.
Associations between vitamin D scores and BMI were confirmed in the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) consortium (n = 123,864). Each 1 kg/m2 higher BMI was associated with 1.15% lower 25(OH)D (p = 6.52×10−27). The BMI allele score was associated both with BMI (p = 6.30×10−62) and 25(OH)D (−0.06% [95% CI −0.10 to −0.02], p = 0.004) in the cohorts that underwent meta-analysis. The two vitamin D allele scores were strongly associated with 25(OH)D (p≤8.07×10−57 for both scores) but not with BMI (synthesis score, p = 0.88; metabolism score, p = 0.08) in the meta-analysis. A 10% higher genetically instrumented BMI was associated with 4.2% lower 25(OH)D concentrations (IV ratio: −4.2 [95% CI −7.1 to −1.3], p = 0.005). No association was seen for genetically instrumented 25(OH)D with BMI, a finding that was confirmed using data from the GIANT consortium (p≥0.57 for both vitamin D scores).
Conclusions
On the basis of a bi-directional genetic approach that limits confounding, our study suggests that a higher BMI leads to lower 25(OH)D, while any effects of lower 25(OH)D increasing BMI are likely to be small. Population level interventions to reduce BMI are expected to decrease the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Obesity—having an unhealthy amount of body fat—is increasing worldwide. In the US, for example, a third of the adult population is now obese. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI, an indicator of body fat calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared) of more than 30.0 kg/m2. Although there is a genetic contribution to obesity, people generally become obese by consuming food and drink that contains more energy than they need for their daily activities. Thus, obesity can be prevented by having a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Compared to people with a healthy weight, obese individuals have an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and tend to die younger. They also have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, another increasingly common public health concern. Vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones as well as other functions, is made in the skin after exposure to sunlight but can also be obtained through the diet and through supplements.
Why Was This Study Done?
Observational studies cannot prove that obesity causes vitamin D deficiency because obese individuals may share other characteristics that reduce their circulating 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] levels (referred to as confounding). Moreover, observational studies cannot indicate whether the larger vitamin D storage capacity of obese individuals (vitamin D is stored in fatty tissues) lowers their 25(OH)D levels or whether 25(OH)D levels influence fat accumulation (reverse causation). If obesity causes vitamin D deficiency, monitoring and treating vitamin D deficiency might alleviate some of the adverse health effects of obesity. Conversely, if low vitamin D levels cause obesity, encouraging people to take vitamin D supplements might help to control the obesity epidemic. Here, the researchers use bi-directional “Mendelian randomization” to examine the direction and causality of the relationship between BMI and 25(OH)D. In Mendelian randomization, causality is inferred from associations between genetic variants that mimic the influence of a modifiable environmental exposure and the outcome of interest. Because gene variants do not change over time and are inherited randomly, they are not prone to confounding and are free from reverse causation. Thus, if a lower vitamin D status leads to obesity, genetic variants associated with lower 25(OH)D concentrations should be associated with higher BMI, and if obesity leads to a lower vitamin D status, then genetic variants associated with higher BMI should be associated with lower 25(OH)D concentrations.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers created a “BMI allele score” based on 12 BMI-related gene variants and two “25(OH)D allele scores,” which are based on gene variants that affect either 25(OH)D synthesis or breakdown. Using information on up to 42,024 participants from 21 studies, the researchers showed that the BMI allele score was associated with both BMI and with 25(OH)D levels among the study participants. Based on this information, they calculated that each 10% increase in BMI will lead to a 4.2% decrease in 25(OH)D concentrations. By contrast, although both 25(OH)D allele scores were strongly associated with 25(OH)D levels, neither score was associated with BMI. This lack of an association between 25(OH)D allele scores and obesity was confirmed using data from more than 100,000 individuals involved in 46 studies that has been collected by the GIANT (Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits) consortium.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that a higher BMI leads to a lower vitamin D status whereas any effects of low vitamin D status on BMI are likely to be small. That is, these findings provide evidence for obesity as a causal factor in the development of vitamin D deficiency but not for vitamin D deficiency as a causal factor in the development of obesity. These findings suggest that population-level interventions to reduce obesity should lead to a reduction in the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and highlight the importance of monitoring and treating vitamin D deficiency as a means of alleviating the adverse influences of obesity on health.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001383.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on all aspects of overweight and obesity (in English and Spanish); a data brief provides information about the vitamin D status of the US population
The World Health Organization provides information on obesity (in several languages)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information about obesity and a link to a personal story about losing weight; it also provides information about vitamin D
The International Obesity Taskforce provides information about the global obesity epidemic
The US Department of Agriculture's ChooseMyPlate.gov website provides a personal healthy eating plan; the Weight-control Information Network is an information service provided for the general public and health professionals by the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (in English and Spanish)
The US Office of Dietary Supplements provides information about vitamin D (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus has links to further information about obesity and about vitamin D (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has a page on Mendelian randomization (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
Overview and details of the collaborative large-scale genetic association study (D-CarDia) provide information about vitamin D and the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related traits
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001383
PMCID: PMC3564800  PMID: 23393431
16.  Sex steroids and bone health in men 
BoneKEy reports  2012;1:2.
The influence of sex steroids on bone in both men and women has long been recognized. In men, however, the relative contribution of androgens versus estrogens in the regulation of bone metabolism remains uncertain. Animal studies demonstrate that both estradiol (E2), via activation of estrogen receptor-α, and testosterone (T), via activation of the androgen receptor, regulate bone mass in male rodents. The main focus of this review is to summarize and discuss recent findings from the osteoporotic fractures in men (MrOS) cohorts regarding the impact of serum sex steroids on bone health in elderly men. Collectively, these data demonstrate that serum E2 is directly associated with bone mineral density (BMD) and that low serum E2 associates with higher rates of bone loss and fracture. In addition, they substantiate the concept of a threshold E2 level that determines fracture risk in elderly men. We propose that the effect of E2 on fracture risk is at least partly mediated by its effect on BMD, whereas the more modest effect of T on fracture risk mainly is mediated by effects on muscle strength and risk of falls. Findings from the MrOS cohorts also demonstrate that racial and genetic variations in aromatase activity influence serum E2 levels in men. In conclusion, there is compelling evidence that not only androgens, but also estrogens, are important regulators of bone health in men. Consequently, E2 should not exclusively be regarded as the 'female hormone' but as a sex steroid that is necessary for maintenance of bone health in men.
doi:10.1038/bonekey.2012.3
PMCID: PMC3705992  PMID: 23951414
17.  Age at Adiposity Rebound Is Associated with Fat Mass in Young Adult Males—The GOOD Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49404.
Objective
Age at adiposity rebound (AR) is associated with obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in adults. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of age at AR in adult fat mass, fat distribution and pubertal timing for a Swedish cohort.
Patients and Methods
This is a retrospective cohort study. Detailed growth charts were retrieved for the men participating in the population-based GOOD (Gothenburg Osteoporosis and Obesity Determinants) study (n = 573). Body composition was analysed using dual X-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography at 18–20 years of age. Age and BMI at AR were calculated using pediatric growth charts and AR was defined as the lowest BMI between 3 and 9 years of age.
Results
Subjects were divided into early (age at AR below 5.4 years of age), middle (age at AR 5.4 to 6.8 years of age) and late (age at AR after 6.8 years of age) age at AR tertiles. Subjects in the early age at AR tertile had higher young adult BMI (+8%), whole body fat mass (+34%) and amount of subcutaneous adipose tissue (+61%) than the subjects in the middle and late tertiles (p<0.01). The early age at AR tertile had an increased risk of obesity (Odds Ratio 4.1 [95% CI 1.2–13.9]) compared with the middle and late tertiles. In addition, the early age at AR tertile had Peak Height Velocity (PHV) 7 months earlier than the late tertile.
Conclusions
Early age at AR was associated with young adult obesity as a consequence of a high amount of subcutaneous adipose tissue in men. In addition we made the novel observation that early age at AR was associated with an early puberty in men.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049404
PMCID: PMC3498114  PMID: 23166661
19.  Meta-Analysis of Genome-Wide Scans for Total Body BMD in Children and Adults Reveals Allelic Heterogeneity and Age-Specific Effects at the WNT16 Locus 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(7):e1002718.
To identify genetic loci influencing bone accrual, we performed a genome-wide association scan for total-body bone mineral density (TB-BMD) variation in 2,660 children of different ethnicities. We discovered variants in 7q31.31 associated with BMD measurements, with the lowest P = 4.1×10−11 observed for rs917727 with minor allele frequency of 0.37. We sought replication for all SNPs located ±500 kb from rs917727 in 11,052 additional individuals from five independent studies including children and adults, together with de novo genotyping of rs3801387 (in perfect linkage disequilibrium (LD) with rs917727) in 1,014 mothers of children from the discovery cohort. The top signal mapping in the surroundings of WNT16 was replicated across studies with a meta-analysis P = 2.6×10−31 and an effect size explaining between 0.6%–1.8% of TB-BMD variance. Conditional analyses on this signal revealed a secondary signal for total body BMD (P = 1.42×10−10) for rs4609139 and mapping to C7orf58. We also examined the genomic region for association with skull BMD to test if the associations were independent of skeletal loading. We identified two signals influencing skull BMD variation, including rs917727 (P = 1.9×10−16) and rs7801723 (P = 8.9×10−28), also mapping to C7orf58 (r2 = 0.50 with rs4609139). Wnt16 knockout (KO) mice with reduced total body BMD and gene expression profiles in human bone biopsies support a role of C7orf58 and WNT16 on the BMD phenotypes observed at the human population level. In summary, we detected two independent signals influencing total body and skull BMD variation in children and adults, thus demonstrating the presence of allelic heterogeneity at the WNT16 locus. One of the skull BMD signals mapping to C7orf58 is mostly driven by children, suggesting temporal determination on peak bone mass acquisition. Our life-course approach postulates that these genetic effects influencing peak bone mass accrual may impact the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Author Summary
Genetic investigations on bone mineral density (BMD) variation in children allow the identification of factors determining peak bone mass and their influence on developing osteoporosis later in life. We ran a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for total body BMD based on 2,660 children of different ethnic backgrounds, followed by replication in an additional 12,066 individuals comprising children, young adults, and elderly populations. Our GWAS meta-analysis identified two independent signals in the 7q31.31 locus, arising from SNPs in the vicinity of WNT16, FAM3C, and C7orf58. These variants were also associated with skull BMD, a skeletal trait with much less environmental influence for which one of the signals displayed age-specific effects. Integration of functional studies in a Wnt16 knockout mouse model and gene expression profiles in human bone tissue provided additional evidence that WNT16 and C7orf58 underlie the described associations. All together our findings demonstrate the relevance of these factors for bone biology, the attainment of peak bone mass, and their likely impact on bone fragility later in life.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002718
PMCID: PMC3390371  PMID: 22792070
20.  Large-Scale Analysis of Association Between LRP5 and LRP6 Variants and Osteoporosis 
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
21.  The Role of GH/IGF-I-Mediated Mechanisms in Sex Differences in Cortical Bone Size in Mice 
Cortical bone dimensions are important determinants of bone strength. Gender differences in cortical bone size caused by greater periosteal expansion in males than in females during the pubertal growth spurt are well established both in humans and in experimental animal models. However, the mechanism by which gender influences cortical bone size is still a matter of investigation. The role of androgens and estrogen in pubertal bone growth has been examined in human disorders as well as animal models, such as gonadectomized or sex steroid receptor knockout mice. Based on the findings that growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) are major regulators of postnatal skeletal growth, we and others have predicted that sex hormones interact with the GH/IGF-I axis to regulate cortical bone size. However, studies conflict as to whether estrogen and androgens impact cortical bone size through the canonical pathway, through GH without IGF-I mediation, through IGF-I without GH stimulation, or independent of GH/IGF-I. We review recent data on the impact of sex steroids and components of the GH/IGF axis on sexual dimorphism in bone size. While the GH/IGF-I axis is a major player in regulating peak bone size, the relative contribution of GH/IGF-dependent mechanisms to sex differences in cortical bone size remains to be established.
doi:10.1007/s00223-010-9436-2
PMCID: PMC3042806  PMID: 21113585
Bone formation and resorption; IGF-I; Growth hormone; Androgen; Estrogen
22.  The Role of IGF-1 for Fracture Risk in Men 
Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are essential for the achievement of normal longitudinal bone growth and bone mass. Preclinical studies using various knockout models have shown that both endocrine (mostly liver-derived) IGF-1 and bone-derived IGF-1 contribute to normal longitudinal skeletal growth and cortical bone size. Since bone size is an important determinant of bone strength, and hence fracture risk, we evaluated the predictive role of serum IGF-1 for fracture risk. The population-based Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Sweden cohort recently showed for the first time that older men with low serum IGF-1 levels have an increased fracture risk, especially for the two most important fracture types, hip and vertebral fractures. This association between serum IGF-1 and incident fracture risk is partly mediated via bone mineral density. Future studies are required to identify the mechanisms by which endocrine and local IGF-1 regulate skeletal growth and bone size. In addition, possible mediators affecting the impact of IGF-1 on fractures in men remain to be elucidated.
doi:10.3389/fendo.2012.00051
PMCID: PMC3355958  PMID: 22649422
bone; insulin-like growth factor-1; population studies; aging; mouse knockout models
23.  Low DHEAS levels are associated with depressive symptoms in elderly Chinese men: results from a large study 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2011;13(6):898-902.
This study investigated the association between depressive symptoms in elderly Chinese men and the total testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulphate (DHEAS), oestradiol and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels, and the free androgen index. Cross-sectional data from 1147 community-dwelling elderly men, aged 65 and older, were used. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Chinese Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Total testosterone, free testosterone, DHEA, DHEAS, total oestradiol, the free androgen index and SHBG levels were assessed. DHEA was significantly associated with GDS score, and there was a trend towards DHEAS association, but this was not significant (β=−0.110, P=0.015; β=−0.074, P=0.055). However, no association was seen between depressive symptoms and total testosterone levels, free testosterone levels, oestradiol levels or SHBG levels. In terms of the presence of clinically relevant depressive symptoms, there were no statistically significant differences between patients in the lowest quartile of sex steroid hormone levels and those in other quartiles of sex steroid hormone levels. Similarly to Western studies, our study shows that DHEA and DHEAS levels are associated with depressive symptoms.
doi:10.1038/aja.2011.116
PMCID: PMC3739563  PMID: 21874029
Chinese; dehydroepiandrosterone; depression; elderly men; testosterone
24.  Genetic Determinants of Serum Testosterone Concentrations in Men 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(10):e1002313.
Testosterone concentrations in men are associated with cardiovascular morbidity, osteoporosis, and mortality and are affected by age, smoking, and obesity. Because of serum testosterone's high heritability, we performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association data in 8,938 men from seven cohorts and followed up the genome-wide significant findings in one in silico (n = 871) and two de novo replication cohorts (n = 4,620) to identify genetic loci significantly associated with serum testosterone concentration in men. All these loci were also associated with low serum testosterone concentration defined as <300 ng/dl. Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms at the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) locus (17p13-p12) were identified as independently associated with serum testosterone concentration (rs12150660, p = 1.2×10−41 and rs6258, p = 2.3×10−22). Subjects with ≥3 risk alleles of these variants had 6.5-fold higher risk of having low serum testosterone than subjects with no risk allele. The rs5934505 polymorphism near FAM9B on the X chromosome was also associated with testosterone concentrations (p = 5.6×10−16). The rs6258 polymorphism in exon 4 of SHBG affected SHBG's affinity for binding testosterone and the measured free testosterone fraction (p<0.01). Genetic variants in the SHBG locus and on the X chromosome are associated with a substantial variation in testosterone concentrations and increased risk of low testosterone. rs6258 is the first reported SHBG polymorphism, which affects testosterone binding to SHBG and the free testosterone fraction and could therefore influence the calculation of free testosterone using law-of-mass-action equation.
Author Summary
Testosterone is the most important testicular androgen in men. Low serum testosterone concentrations are associated with cardiovascular morbidity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and increased mortality risk. Thus, there is growing evidence that serum testosterone is a valuable biomarker of men's overall health status. Studies in male twins indicate that there is a strong heritability of serum testosterone. Here we perform a large-scale genome-wide association study to examine the effects of common genetic variants on serum testosterone concentrations. By examining 14,429 men, we show that genetic variants in the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) locus and on the X chromosome are associated with a substantial variation in serum testosterone concentrations and increased risk of low testosterone. The reported associations may now be used in order to better understand the functional background of recently identified disease associations related to low testosterone. Importantly, we identified the first known genetic variant, which affects SHBG's affinity for binding testosterone and the free testosterone fraction and could therefore influence the calculation of free testosterone. This finding suggests that individual-based SHBG-testosterone affinity constants are required depending on the genotype of this single-nucleotide polymorphism.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002313
PMCID: PMC3188559  PMID: 21998597
25.  Liver-Derived IGF-I Regulates Mean Life Span in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e22640.
Background
Transgenic mice with low levels of global insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) throughout their life span, including pre- and postnatal development, have increased longevity. This study investigated whether specific deficiency of liver-derived, endocrine IGF-I is of importance for life span.
Methods and Findings
Serum IGF-I was reduced by approximately 80% in mice with adult, liver-specific IGF-I inactivation (LI-IGF-I-/- mice), and body weight decreased due to reduced body fat. The mean life span of LI-IGF-I-/- mice (n = 84) increased 10% vs. control mice (n = 137) (Cox's test, p<0.01), mainly due to increased life span (16%) of female mice [LI-IGF-I-/- mice (n = 31): 26.7±1.1 vs. control (n = 67): 23.0±0.7 months, p<0.001]. Male LI-IGF-I-/- mice showed only a tendency for increased longevity (p = 0.10). Energy expenditure, measured as oxygen consumption during and after submaximal exercise, was increased in the LI-IGF-I-/- mice. Moreover, microarray and RT-PCR analyses showed consistent regulation of three genes (heat shock protein 1A and 1B and connective tissue growth factor) in several body organs in the LI-IGF-I-/- mice.
Conclusions
Adult inactivation of liver-derived, endocrine IGF-I resulted in moderately increased mean life span. Body weight and body fat decreased in LI-IGF-I-/- mice, possibly due to increased energy expenditure during exercise. Genes earlier reported to modulate stress response and collagen aging showed consistent regulation, providing mechanisms that could underlie the increased mean life span in the LI-IGF-I-/- mice.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022640
PMCID: PMC3143189  PMID: 21799924

Results 1-25 (49)