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Calcif Tissue Int. 2007 Mar;80(3):154-9. Epub 2007 Mar 3.

CYP3A7*1C polymorphism, serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate level, and bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.

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1st Department of Medicine, Semmelweis University Budapest, 1083 Korányi S. u 2/a, Budapest, Hungary.


The CYP3A7 enzyme metabolizes some steroid hormones, including dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). The age-related decline of serum DHEAS levels is believed to contribute to osteoporosis. Previously, the CYP3A7*1C polymorphism has been shown to cause a persistent high CYP3A7 enzyme activity, resulting in lower levels of DHEAS in men. We hypothesized that the CYP3A7*1C polymorphism might contribute to bone loss through decreased levels of serum DHEAS in postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women (n = 319) were divided into two subgroups: 217 with osteoporosis and 102 healthy controls. Genotyping, serum DHEAS measurement, and osteodensitometry of the lumbar spine and femoral neck were carried out in all subjects. Homozygous CYP3A7*1C carriers had significantly lower BMD at the lumbar spine compared to wild types (T score -3.27 +/- 1.02 in CYP3A7*1C homozygous mutants vs. -1.35 +/- 1.53 in wild types, P = 0.041). This association remained significant after adjustment for menopausal age, serum DHEAS level, alcohol consumption, steroid intake, smoking habits, and previous fractures. No association was found between genotypes and serum DHEAS levels in the total study population or in the subgroups. Serum DHEAS levels correlated positively with bone mineral density at the lumbar spine (r = 0.59, P = 0.042) after correction for age. Our data suggest that the CYP3A7 polymorphism might have an influence on bone mass at the lumbar spine independently of serum DHEAS concentrations.

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