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Calcif Tissue Int. 2006 Sep;79(3):160-8. Epub 2006 Sep 11.

Degree of mineralization-related collagen crosslinking in the femoral neck cancellous bone in cases of hip fracture and controls.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Jikei University School of Medicine, 3-25-8, Nishi-Shinbashi, Tokyo, Japan.


Based on the present definition of osteoporosis, both bone density and quality are important factors in the determination of bone strength. Collagen crosslinking is a determinant of bone quality. Cross-links can form enzymatically by the action of lysyl oxidase or non-enzymatically, resulting in advanced glycation end products. Collagen crosslinking is affected by tissue maturation as well as the degree of mineralization. Homocysteine and vitamin B6 (pyridoxal) are also regulatory factors of collagen crosslinking. We elucidate the relationship between the degree of mineralization and collagen cross-links in cancellous bone from hip fracture cases. We also determined plasma levels of homocysteine and pyridoxal. Twenty-five female intracapsular hip fracture cases (78 +/- 6 years) and 25 age-matched postmortem controls (77 +/- 6 years) were included in this study. Collagen crosslinking was analyzed after each bone specimen was fractionated into low (1.7-2.0 g/ml) and high (>2.0 g/ml) density fractions. The content of enzymatic (immature reducible and mature nonreducible cross-links) and nonenzymatic cross-link (pentosidine) were determined. In the controls, there was no difference in total enzymatic cross-links between low and high density bone, while pentosidine content was significantly higher in high density bone. In the fracture cases, not only reduced enzymatic cross-links in high density bone and increased pentosidine in both low and high density bone, but also higher plasma homocysteine and lower pyridoxal levels were evident compared with the controls. These results indicate that detrimental crosslinking in both low and high mineralized bone result in impaired bone quality in osteoporotic patients.

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