The MTHFR c.677C>T polymorphism has been shown to have significant effects on skeletal health in middle-aged to elderly women and men. Despite an accumulating amount of data on MTHFR genetics and the association between homocysteine levels and fracture, it remains unknown if MTHFR c.677C>T genotype affects bone mineral accretion in youth or bone loss in adulthood. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the effects of this common allelic polymorphism on peak bone mass and bone turnover. We performed MTHFR genotyping in 780 healthy Danish men, aged 20 to 29 years, participating in the Odense Androgen Study. BMD at the spine, hip and whole-body was measured using a Hologic QDR-4500 densitometer. Genotype frequencies were compatible with Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Spine BMD was significantly associated with genotype, with a decrease in BMD of 0.20 SD for each copy of the T-allele. Effects were independent of age, BMI, smoking and serum levels of vitamin D and IGF-I. Associations with BMD of the hip and whole body were short of statistical significance. MTHFR genotype showed no association with the bone turnover markers 1-CTP, bone specific alkaline phosphatase or osteocalcin. In conclusion, significant skeletal effects of this common polymorphism were present at the lumbar spine in men at the age of 25 years.
Peak bone mass (PBM) and subsequent bone loss are important risk factors for development of osteoporosis later in life, and twin studies have reported strong genetic influence on PBM. The genetic factor influencing PBM is polygenetic, and many genes most likely exert relatively small effects on bone mass. The poly adenosine (A) microsatellite in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the VDR gene has been associated with both prostate and breast cancer risk but little is known about the effect of bone mineral density (BMD). In this report the poly A microsatellite and the linked BsmI SNP have been investigated in a population-based cohort of 343 Swedish women, aged 20-39. BMD was measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry at the spine, proximal femur, total body and heel and by quantitative ultrasound at the heel. Correlations were found between VDR genotypes and BMD at lumbar spine L2-L4, (ss versus LL, P = 0.03 and BB versus bb, P = 0.02, respectively), with a similar pattern concerning total hip (ss versus LL, P = 0.12 and BB versus bb, P = 0.16 respectively). After corrections for age, height, fat and lean mass, the VDR BsmI genotype was still associated to BMD at the lumbar spine (BB versus bb, P = 0.03). The polymorphisms were in linkage disequilibrium (Chi-square = 566, P
Peak bone mass is a major determinant of osteoporosis risk in later life. It is under strong genetic control; however, little is known about the identity of the genes involved. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between polymorphisms in the genes encoding the vitamin D receptor (VDR) (FokI, TaqI) and estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha) (PvuII, XbaI), and bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC), and markers of bone turnover in 224 Danish girls aged 11-12 years. BMD and BMC were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Serum osteocalcin, 25(OH)D, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were measured by ELISA assays and urinary pyridinium cross-links by HPLC. Physical activity, dietary calcium, and Tanner stage were assessed by questionnaire. In general, there were no significant differences in anthropometrical variables, physical activity, dietary calcium, serum 25(OH)D, or PTH among genotype groups. BMD or BMC of lumbar spine or whole body (adjusted for body and bone size and pubertal status) were not associated with VDR or ERalpha genotypes or the combination of these genotypes. This lack of association remained even after adjustment for dietary and environmental factors. VDR genotypes had no effect on bone turnover markers. XX and PP ERalpha genotypes were associated (P