, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 307-311

Association of Bone Dimensions with a Parathyroid Hormone Gene Polymorphism in Women

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We have recently shown that bone radiogrammetric dimensions are associated with vitamin D receptor gene polymorphism. Since parathyroid hormone (PTH) plays a central role in maintaining calcium homeostasis and in bone remodeling, we investigated whether bone radiogrammetric dimensions are associated with a PTH gene polymorphism in 91 healthy Caucasian women, who were premenopausal at entry into the study. These women had assessments of bone by radiogrammetry every five years for a median period of 20 years (range 4–27). DNA was extracted from white blood cells. A segment of the PTH gene with a polymorphism at a BstBI restriction site was amplified by polymerase chain reaction. Diameter, cortical thickness and cross-sectional area at standard sites of the metacarpals, radius and femur were measured with radiogrammetry. Higher metacarpal diameter and cross-sectional cortical area, and a slower decrease in radial cortical area with age, were associated with the absence of the BstBI restriction site of the PTH gene. PTH gene polymorphism accounts for about 7–9% of the total variances of bone dimensional variables. These findings suggest that the dimensions of long bones are influenced by allelic variations in the PTH gene or in genes nearby.

Received: 29 January 1998 / Accepted: 3 August 1998