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Calcif Tissue Int. 2009 Nov;85(5):369-78. doi: 10.1007/s00223-009-9290-2. Epub 2009 Sep 11.

Association of IL-15 polymorphisms with bone mineral density in postmenopausal Korean women.

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Skeletal Diseases Genome Research Center, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu 700-412, Korea.


Interleukin-15 (IL-15) has been suggested to participate in bone metabolism by stimulating osteoclast differentiation and mediating inflammatory bone loss. This study investigated the effect of IL-15 gene polymorphisms on the bone mineral density (BMD) and bone fracture rates of postmenopausal women. Sequencing of the IL-15 gene in 24 Koreans revealed 16 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), of which five were selected for further study. Postmenopausal Korean women (n = 844) were genotyped for these SNPs, and their BMDs and risk of fractures were assessed. It was found that the +20A > G, +13467C > A, +13653A > T, and +13815A > T IL-15 gene polymorphisms were significantly associated with the BMD of the lumbar spine and femoral neck and that their effects were gene-dose dependent. BMD was reduced when the minor allele of +13467A and +13653T or the common allele of +20A and +13815A was present. Haplotype (ht) analyses revealed that ht1 (GCAT) and ht2 (AATA) were associated with BMD of the lumbar spine and femoral neck. However, there was no association between the risk of fracture and IL-15 SNPs or hts. These results suggest that the +20A > G, +13467C > A, +13653A > T, and +13815A > T SNPs in the IL-15 gene affect BMD and, thus, could be genetic markers of osteoporosis.

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