Sclerostin levels during growth in children
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- Kirmani, S., Amin, S., McCready, L.K. et al. Osteoporos Int (2012) 23: 1123. doi:10.1007/s00198-011-1669-z
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Serum sclerostin levels are associated with cortical porosity, suggesting that changes in sclerostin production during growth may play a role in defining cortical structure.
Sclerostin, produced by osteocytes, is a potent inhibitor of Wnt signaling and bone formation. While sclerostin levels increase with age in adults and are higher in men compared to women, there is currently no information on changes in circulating sclerostin levels during growth in humans.
We measured serum sclerostin levels in 6- to 21-year-old girls (n = 62) and boys (n = 56) and related these to trabecular and cortical bone microarchitectural parameters using high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography and to markers of bone turnover.
Serum sclerostin levels were higher in boys as compared to girls and declined in both sexes following the onset of puberty. There was no consistent relationship between sclerostin levels and trabecular bone parameters in either sex. However, serum sclerostin levels were inversely associated with cortical volumetric bone mineral density and cortical thickness in girls and positively associated with the cortical porosity index in both girls and boys. Bone turnover markers were positively correlated with serum sclerostin levels in both sexes.
The gender difference in serum sclerostin levels appears to be established during puberty, and sclerostin levels tend to decline in late puberty in both girls and boys. Serum sclerostin levels are associated with cortical porosity, suggesting that changes in sclerostin production during growth may play a role in defining cortical structure.