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Chin Med J (Engl). 1997 May;110(5):366-71.

Polymorphisms of vitamin D receptor gene and its association with bone mineral density and osteocalcin in Chinese.

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Department of Endocrinology, Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS), Beijing.



To explore the distribution frequencies of vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphisms in Chinese and the relationship between VDR genotypes and bone mineral density (BMD) or serum osteocalcin level in Chinese women.


Polymorphisms of VDR gene were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify the DNA sequence and three restriction enzymes (namely BsmI, ApaI and TaqI) to digest the PCR products in 223 subjects. Some of the VDR genotypes were also confirmed by Southern hybridization analysis. BMD was measured at the spine and proximal femur by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Serum osteocalcin concentrations were determined by radioimmunoassay.


Chinese had high frequencies of "b,a,T" alleles, 95%, 75% and 95% respectively, which were much different from Caucasians. "BB" or "AA" genotype had tendency for higher BMD at some sites in the group of young women, whereas in the group of postmenopausal women, "bb" or "aa" genotype had relationship with lower BMD at femoral neck and trochanter. Furthermore, no relationship were found between VDR genotypes and the serum osteocalcin level in Chinese women.


Allele frequencies of VDR gene in Chinese are different from those in Caucasians. VDR gene polymorphisms are associated with BMD in Chinese, but in a different pattern from other reports. Further study on predicting function of VDR for osteoporosis is necessary.

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