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Physiol Res. 2000;49(4):435-9.

Bone mineral density in patients with apolipoprotein E type 2/2 and 4/4 genotype.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.


The peak bone mass and the rate of bone loss are in part genetically determined. It has been suggested that bone mineral density (BMD) may be related to allelic variation in the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene locus. ApoE is important in the receptor-mediated clearance of chylomicron particles from the plasma, Apo E4 having the highest and Apo E2 the lowest receptor affinity. Chylomicrons are the main carrier of vitamin K in the plasma; vitamin K plays an important role in the carboxylation of osteocalcin. We have tested the hypothesis that persons with E4 variant would have lower BMD and increased bone turnover than those with E2 variant. A total of 18 ApoE 2/2 and ApoE 4/4 homozygotes were selected from 873 patients who were examined for the ApoE genotype. BMD in lumbar vertebral, femoral neck and distal forearm was measured and plasma concentrations of osteocalcin and C-terminal fragments of collagen (CTx) were determined. BMD values (expressed as T-score) at the three specified sites were -0.12+/-1.72, -0.52+/-1.32 and -0.52+/-0.81 in ApoE 2/2 group and -0.24+/-1.22, 0.00+/-0.84 and -0.17+/-1.07 in the ApoE 4/4 group. Plasma osteocalcin and CTx were within normal limits in both groups. In conclusion, we did not observe any association of ApoE genotype with BMD and biochemical markers of bone metabolism in ApoE 2/2 and ApoE 4/4 homozygotes.

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