Elevated circulating Sclerostin concentrations in individuals with high bone mass, with and without LRP5 mutations

Celia L Gregson, Kenneth E S Poole, Eugene V McCloskey, Emma L Duncan, Jörn Rittweger, William D Fraser, George Davey Smith, Jonathan H Tobias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


CONTEXT: The role and importance of circulating sclerostin is poorly understood. High bone mass (HBM) caused by activating LRP5 mutations has been reported to be associated with increased plasma sclerostin concentrations; whether the same applies to HBM due to other causes is unknown.

OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to determine circulating sclerostin concentrations in HBM.

DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: In this case-control study, 406 HBM index cases were identified by screening dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) databases from 4 United Kingdom centers (n = 219 088), excluding significant osteoarthritis/artifact. Controls comprised unaffected relatives and spouses.

MAIN MEASURES: Plasma sclerostin; lumbar spine L1, total hip, and total body DXA; and radial and tibial peripheral quantitative computed tomography (subgroup only) were evaluated.

RESULTS: Sclerostin concentrations were significantly higher in both LRP5 HBM and non-LRP5 HBM cases compared with controls: mean (SD) 130.1 (61.7) and 88.0 (39.3) vs 66.4 (32.3) pmol/L (both P < .001, which persisted after adjustment for a priori confounders). In combined adjusted analyses of cases and controls, sclerostin concentrations were positively related to all bone parameters found to be increased in HBM cases (ie, L1, total hip, and total body DXA bone mineral density and radial/tibial cortical area, cortical bone mineral density, and trabecular density). Although these relationships were broadly equivalent in HBM cases and controls, there was some evidence that associations between sclerostin and trabecular phenotypes were stronger in HBM cases, particularly for radial trabecular density (interaction P < .01).

CONCLUSIONS: Circulating plasma sclerostin concentrations are increased in both LRP5 and non-LRP5 HBM compared with controls. In addition to the general positive relationship between sclerostin and DXA/peripheral quantitative computed tomography parameters, genetic factors predisposing to HBM may contribute to increased sclerostin levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2897-907
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Great Britain
  • Humans
  • Hyperostosis
  • Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-5
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Osteochondrodysplasias
  • Syndactyly
  • Young Adult


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