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J Clin Endocrinol Metab., 2008; 93(8): 3088-96, PMID: 18505767

Impact on bone of an estrogen receptor-alpha gene loss of function mutation

Year: 2008

Smith EP, Specker B, Bachrach BE, Kimbro KS, Li XJ, Young MF, Fedarko NS, Abuzzahab MJ, Frank GR, Cohen RM, Lubahn DB, Korach KS
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Vontz Center for Molecular Studies, 3125 Eden Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0547, USA.


CONTEXT: The kindred described is the only known instance of a germ line loss of function mutation of estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to assess the impact of a loss of function mutation in the ER-alpha gene on histomorphometry, bone volumetric density, bone geometry and skeletal growth, and ER-alpha heterozygosity on spine density and adult height in an extended pedigree. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A longitudinal follow-up of the propositus with homozygous loss of function mutation of ER-alpha and single contact evaluation of the kindred were performed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Iliac crest bone biopsy and peripheral quantitative computed tomography of propositus with serial measures of areal spine bone mineral density (aBMD) by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and bone age were performed. Members of pedigree were evaluated for ER-alpha mutation carrier status and spine aBMD. RESULTS: Bone biopsy revealed marked osteopenia (cortex: 641 microm), low trabecular volume (10.6%), decreased thickness (76.2 microm), normal trabecular number, and low activation frequency (0.099/yr). Radial periosteal circumference was similar, endosteal circumference larger, and trabecular and cortical volumetric bone mineral density markedly lower (158 and 1092 mg/cm(3), respectively) than controls. Spine aBMD at age 28.5 yr (0.745 g/cm(2)) decreased to 0.684 g/cm(2) (Z score -3.85) in 3.5 yr. Bone age advanced from 15-17.5 yr. Kindred analysis revealed that gene carriers had spine aBMD Z scores less than zero (P = 0.003), but carriers and nonmutant members were similar (-0.84 +/- 0.26 vs. -0.64 +/- 0.16). CONCLUSION: Homozygous ER-alpha disruption markedly affects bone growth, mineral content, and structure but not periosteal circumference. ER-alpha heterozygosity appears to not impair spine aBMD.

Keywords: estrogen receptor gene
GID: 1571; Last update: 11.11.2008