The Contribution of Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphisms in Osteoporosis and Familial Osteoporosis
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- Fountas, L., Moutsatsou, P., Kastanias, I. et al. Osteoporos Int (1999) 10: 392. doi:10.1007/s001980050245
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It is well established that genetic factors play a major role in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. Previous reports have suggested that vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphisms, particularly the BB, tt and AA genotypes, are associated with low bone mineral density (BMD). If these VDR genotypes are indeed an important determinant of BMD, then a population of related osteoporotic individuals (mother–daughter or sister–sister relationship) should have a high prevalence of the BB, tt or AA VDR genotypes. To test this hypothesis we determined the VDR genotypes in 26 osteoporotic persons (age 44.3 ± 12.7 years, mean ± SD) belonging to 12 families. Furthermore, for comparison with existing studies, we applied the VDR genotype analysis in a population of 53 unrelated healthy subjects (age 45.2 ± 9.8 years, mean ± SD) and 59 unrelated osteoporotic subjects (age 52.1 ± 9.0 years, mean ± SD). The menopausal status of the healthy and osteoporotic populations was pre-, peri- and mostly early postmenopausal. The proportions of the three genotypes, BB, tt and AA, within the 12 osteoporotic families were 15%, 12% and 27%, respectively, whereas the proportions of the other three homozygous genotypes (bb, TT, aa) were 50%, 50% and 23%. The distribution of the BB, tt and AA genotypes in the normal population was 21%, 21% and 36%, respectively (vs bb, TT, aa: 36%, 38%, 21%), whereas in the osteoporotic population it was 24%, 20% and 34% (vs bb, TT, aa: 27%, 34%, 14%). Our data indicate that there is not a statistically significant (p>0.05) difference in the VDR genotype frequencies within osteoporotic families as compared with the same genotypes in the population of unrelated normal or osteoporotic subjects. VDR genotype analysis showed no significant relation between VDR polymorphisms and BMD or Z-score values at the lumbar spine. This study demonstrates the lack of a heritability pattern between the BB, tt and AA genotypes and low BMD.