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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Sep 5;308(4):777-83.

Estrogen receptor alpha and vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms and bone mineral density: association study of healthy pre- and postmenopausal Chinese women.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular and Statistical Genetics, College of life Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, Hunan 410081, PR China.


In the present study, we tested the association between the estrogen receptor alpha (ER-alpha) and vitamin D receptor (VDR) genes with bone mineral density (BMD). A total of 649 healthy Chinese women, classified as pre-menopausal (N=388) and post-menopausal (N=261) groups, were genotyped at the ER-alpha PvuII, XbaI, and VDR ApaI sites. BMDs at the lumbar spine (L(1)-L(4)) and total hip were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. For the VDR ApaI locus, AA carriers had lower spine BMD than Aa (p=0.02) and aa carriers (p<0.01) in the pre-menopausal group. For the ER-alpha gene, carriers of haplotype px had lower spine BMD than the non-carriers (p=0.03) in the pre-menopausal group. Furthermore, we observed significant interaction between the ER-alpha and VDR genes in the post-menopausal group: with AA genotype (or A allele) at the VDR ApaI locus, pX carriers had higher spine BMD than the non-carriers (p=0.02), and PX carriers had lower hip BMD than the non-carriers (p=0.04). Our data suggest that the ER-alpha and VDR genes may be associated with the BMD variation in Chinese women.

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