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J Bone Miner Res. 2002 Nov;17 Suppl 2:N108-16.

Role of the interleukin-6/interleukin-6 soluble receptor cytokine system in mediating increased skeletal sensitivity to parathyroid hormone in perimenopausal women.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8020, USA.


We have observed a strong correlation between circulating levels of both interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-6 soluble receptor (IL-6sR) and rates of bone turnover in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. Furthermore, we have found that serum levels of IL-6sR predict rates of bone loss in postmenopausal women with this disease. Estrogen modulates parathyroid hormone (PTH)-induced increases in serum IL-6/IL-6sR, such that, in the estrogen-deficient state, there is an exaggerated release of these cytokines. We therefore propose that the perimenopausal period represents a time when skeletal sensitivity to the resorbing actions of PTH increases because of augmented release of IL-6 and IL-6sR. To test this hypothesis, we retrospectively examined data from 91 women with primary hyperparathyroidism who were seen over the last 5 years at our institution. Women were categorized, based on their age, as premenopausal (n = 20, 41 +/- 2 years), perimenopausal (n = 17, 54 +/- 1 years), or postmenopausal (n = 54, 64 +/- 1 years). Despite having similar mean values for PTH, perimenopausal women had a mean serum IL-6 value that was significantly higher than that in the premenopausal group (13 +/- 2 vs. 8 +/- 2 pg/ml; p = 0.03). This difference in cytokine profile was mirrored by higher mean values for urine N telopeptides of type I collagen (NTX) in the perimenopausal group compared with premenopausal women (114 +/- 9 vs. 80 +/- 11 nM bone collagen equivalents (BCE)/mM creatinine, p = 0.01). Of the three groups of patients, values for IL-6 and urine NTX were highest in the postmenopausal group. We conclude that the perimenopausal period may be a time of increased risk for the skeletal complications of hyperparathyroidism. This is because of increased skeletal sensitivity to the resorbing actions of PTH, mediated in part, by the IL-6/IL-6sR cytokine system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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