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J Bone Miner Metab. 2012 Mar;30(2):202-7. doi: 10.1007/s00774-011-0304-6. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Physical training increases osteoprotegerin in postmenopausal women.

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Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The purpose of this study was to explore whether mechanical loading by exercise over a 1-year period in postmenopausal women had an effect on the receptor activator for nuclear factor kappa B ligand/osteoprotegerin (RANKL/OPG) system or the levels of the Wnt-signaling antagonist sclerostin. A total of 112 postmenopausal were randomized to either sedentary life (controls) or physical activity (training group). Ninety-two women fulfilled the study protocol. The training program consisted of three fast 30-min walks and one or two 1-h aerobic training sessions per week. The effect on the bone mineral density of the hip assessed with dual X-ray absorptiometry was positive as reported earlier. Blood samples were taken from participants at baseline and after 1 year and serum levels of OPG, RANKL and sclerostin were quantified together with the bone metabolism markers C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I (CTX) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BALP). The results were analyzed using an analysis of covariance model using baseline values as the covariate. The training group displayed a clear mean increase of OPG +7.55 pg/ml compared to controls (p = 0.007). The mean changes for RANKL +0.19 pg/ml (square-root transformed data) and sclerostin +0.62 pmol/l were non-significant (p = 0.13 and p = 0.34). The changes in bone turnover markers CTX and BALP showed a tendency to decrease in the training group versus controls but the changes were small and non-significant. Although our study is limited in number of participating women, we have been able to show an OPG-associated, and RANKL- and sclerostin-independent, training-induced inhibition of postmenopausal bone loss.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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