RANKL/RANK/OPG system and bone status in females with anorexia nervosa.Bone 2012; 50(1):156-60BONE
Minimal data exist concerning the relationship between osteokines of the RANKL/RANK/OPG system, especially RANKL, and bone status in females with anorexia nervosa (AN). For this reason we investigated the relationship between bone metabolism (as assessed based on serum levels of OC and CTx), and OPG and sRANKL concentrations in females with AN. Ninety-one female patients with AN and 29 healthy female subjects aged 13 to 18 years of age participated in the study. Serum OC, CTx, OPG and sRANKL were measured by ELISA. The female patients with AN demonstrated an essential suppression of OC and CTx, increased OPG and sRANKL levels, and a reduced OPG/sRANKL ratio. OC, CTx and the OPG/sRANKL ratio correlated positively with body mass and BMI in these patients, whereas in the case of OPG and sRANKL the relationship was negative. A significant positive correlation was observed between OPG and sRANKL and also between bone markers and the OPG/sRANKL ratio, and negative between CTx and sRANKL. In female patients with AN, the OPG/RANKL ratio was a significant and independent predictor of osteocalcin, a bone formation marker - OC (R(2)=0.065, p=0.012) whereas the OPG/sRANKL ratio and BMI were significant and independent predictors of a bone resorption marker - CTx (R(2)=0.095; p=0.012). In conclusion, the body mass, BMI values, and bone markers suppression observed in female patients with AN might be associated with an increase in OPG and sRANKL levels and a significant decrease of the OPG/sRANKL ratio. Although higher OPG levels may compensate for excessive bone resorption in female patients with AN, the lower OPG/sRANKL ratio seems to indicate that some inadequacies exist regarding this compensation effect, which might contribute to low bone density in these patients. The OPG/sRANKL ratio might prove a more relevant marker to predict bone metabolism in female patients with AN than sRANKL and/or OPG alone.