, Volume 84, Issue 5, pp 348-354
Date: 28 Feb 2009

Assessment of Circulating Dickkopf-1 with a New Two-Site Immunoassay in Healthy Subjects and Women with Breast Cancer and Bone Metastases

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The aim of our study was to investigate the sex- and age-related changes of serum Dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1), a soluble inhibitor of the Wnt signaling pathway, in healthy individuals and in patients with breast cancer (BC) and bone metastases (BM) using a new ELISA. Association of serum Dkk-1 with markers of bone turnover was also investigated. Serum Dkk-1 measurements were performed using a commercial sandwich ELISA in 150 healthy men, 175 healthy pre- and postmenopausal women (20–65 years), 22 women with BC and BM (mean age 63 years), and 16 women with BC and metastases at sites other than bone (mean age 53 years). Intra- and interassay coefficients of variation were below 7% and 12%, respectively. The detection limit was determined to be 0.018 μg/L. In healthy women and men, Dkk-1 did not change with age. Serum Dkk-1 modestly correlated with serum bone alkaline phosphatase (r = 0.19, = 0.013) and serum C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (r = 0.19, = 0.014) in women but not in men. Dkk-1 levels were higher in women with BC and BM (5.57 ± 5.50 μg/L) than in healthy age-matched controls (3.47 ± 1.47 μg/L, < 0.0001) and women with metastases at sites other than bone (3.57 ± 1.66 μg/L, = 0.0003). In conclusion, serum Dkk-1 is stable with age in healthy women and men and increases in patients with BC and BM. Measurements of circulating Dkk-1 with this new ELISA may be useful for the clinical investigation of patients with malignant bone diseases.