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Clin Nephrol. 2009 Jun;71(6):652-9.

The effect of RANKL and OPG on bone mineral density in pre-dialysis chronic renal failure.

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Division of Endocrinology and Nuclear Medicine.



The influence of pre-dialysis chronic kidney disease (CKD) on bone is ill defined. Isolation of specific pathogenic mechanisms would improve the understanding and therapeutic options. We therefore investigated whether parathyroid dysfunction, altered vitamin D and hormonal status, or RANKL and OPG have an influence on bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with pre-dialysis renal failure.


132 patients with chronic renal failure stage 1 - 5 (not yet on dialysis) were investigated in a cross sectional study. Osteoprotegerin (OPG), receptor activator of nuclear factor kB ligand (RANKL), parathyroid hormone (whole, intact and 7-84 fragment), bone markers, sex hormones, and vitamin D status were assessed together with femoral neck and trochanter z-score. Correlation and multivariate analyses were performed between the different parameters and BMD.


In the multivariate analysis a significant association was found between the femoral neck z-score and sRANKL (B = -0.45; p < 0.001), and OPG (B = 0.20; p < 0.05). A significant negative association was also found between the trochanter z-score and sRANKL (B = -0.32; p < 0.001). No associations were found between the trochanter z-score and OPG or the sRANKL/OPG ratio. The body mass index was the only additional marker associated with both FN z-score (B = 0.20, p < 0.05) and TR z-score (B = 0.20, p < 0.05). Neither markers of osteoblast nor osteoclast activity, or intact PTH, whole PTH, the PTH 7-84 fragment or vitamin D status were related to bone mineral density.


Our results demonstrate that the RANKL/RANK/OPG system is associated with bone mineral density in pre-dialysis chronic renal failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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