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      A case series of pregnancy- and lactation-associated osteoporosis and a review of the literature

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          The syndrome of pregnancy- and lactation-associated osteoporosis is a rare disorder whose precise etiology and treatment are largely unknown. We herein report two such cases occurring in the early postpartum period that led to multiple fragility compression fractures. Combination therapy of vitamin D and vitamin K enabled a marked gradual increase in bone mineral density.

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          Vitamin K2 regulation of bone homeostasis is mediated by the steroid and xenobiotic receptor SXR.

          Vitamin K2 is a critical nutrient required for blood clotting that also plays an important role in bone formation. Vitamin K2 supplementation up-regulates the expression of bone markers, increases bone density in vivo, and is used clinically in the management of osteoporosis. The mechanism of vitamin K2 action in bone formation was thought to involve its normal role as an essential cofactor for gamma-carboxylation of bone matrix proteins. However, there is evidence that suggests vitamin K2 also has a transcriptional regulatory function. Vitamin K2 bound to and activated the orphan nuclear receptor SXR and induced expression of the SXR target gene, CYP3A4, identifying it as a bona fide SXR ligand. Vitamin K2 treatment of osteosarcoma cells increased mRNA levels for the osteoblast markers bone alkaline phosphatase, osteoprotegerin, osteopontin, and matrix Gla protein. The known SXR activators rifampicin and hyperforin induced this panel of bone markers to an extent similar to vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 was able to induce bone markers in primary osteocytes isolated from wild-type murine calvaria but not in cells isolated from mice deficient in the SXR ortholog PXR. We infer that vitamin K2 is a transcriptional regulator of bone-specific genes that acts through SXR to favor the expression of osteoblastic markers. Thus, SXR has a novel role as a mediator of bone homeostasis in addition to its role as a xenobiotic sensor. An important implication of this work is that a subset of SXR activators may function as effective therapeutic agents for the management of osteoporosis.
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            Bisphosphonates in pregnancy and lactation-associated osteoporosis.

            Pregnancy and lactation-associated osteoporosis (PLO) is an uncommon condition characterized by the occurrence of fracture(s) during late pregnancy or the puerperium. The aetiology is uncertain, and its management and natural history poorly defined. We report a series of 11 women with PLO seen at our institution over the past 20 years, with follow-up ranging from 1 to 19 years. Ten women presented with painful low-trauma vertebral fractures, at a median of 1 month postpartum. In nine cases the fractures were multiple (median: 3, range: 2-5). At least one recognised risk factor for osteoporosis (low body weight, smoking history, family history of osteoporosis/fracture, vitamin D insufficiency) was present in nine patients. Bone density was in the osteoporotic range at the spine (mean T score: -2.8), with less marked reduction at the proximal femur (mean T score: -1.9). Nine patients received bisphosphonate treatment, for a median duration of 24 months. In the five women who received a bisphosphonate within 1 year of presentation, spinal bone density increased by 23% over baseline values after 2 years of treatment (p=0.0014). Of the 5 women who had subsequent pregnancies, one, who had declined bisphosphonate therapy after the initial presentation, sustained a fracture in the postpartum period. Two patients (both of whom were followed for at least 10 years) sustained fractures outside of pregnancy. PLO is therefore associated with significant morbidity, a high prevalence of recognized risk factors for osteoporosis and a risk of recurrence in subsequent pregnancies. Bisphosphonate therapy administered soon after presentation substantially increases spinal bone density in patients with PLO.
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              Bone metabolic changes during pregnancy: a period of vulnerability to osteoporosis and fracture.

              Changes in bone density and bone markers suggest that pregnancy is associated with deterioration of bone mass in the mother. The metabolism of calcium resets to allow for the needs imposed by the building of the fetal skeleton. The fetus contributes to the process through the output of regulators from the placenta. Understanding of the whole process is limited, but some changes are unambiguous. There is an increase in the circulating levels of vitamin D, but its functional impact is unclear. Fetal parathyroid hormone (PTH) and PTH-related peptide (PTHrp) play an indirect role through support of a calcium gradient that creates hypercalcemia in the fetus. Placental GH, which increases up to the end of pregnancy, may exert some anabolic effects, either directly or through the regulation of the IGF1 production. Other key regulators of bone metabolism, such as estrogens or prolactin, are elevated during pregnancy, but their role is uncertain. An increase in the ratio of receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL) to osteoprotegerin (OPG) acts as an additional pro-resorbing factor in bone. The increase in bone resorption may lead to osteoporosis and fragility fracture, which have been diagnosed, although rarely. However, the condition is transitory as long-term studies do not link the number of pregnancies with osteoporosis. Prevention is limited by the lack of identifiable risk factors. When fractures are diagnosed, rest, analgesics, or, when indicated, orthopedic intervention have demonstrated efficacy. Systemic treatment with anti-osteoporotic drugs is effective, but the potential harm to the fetus imposes caution in their use.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                07 September 2015
                : 11
                : 1361-1365
                [1 ]Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan
                [2 ]Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Showa Inan General Hospital, Komagane, Japan
                [3 ]Center of Osteoporosis and Spinal Disorders, Kamimura Clinic, Matsumoto, Japan
                [4 ]Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Azumi General Hospital, Azumino, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yukio Nakamura, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Asahi 3-1-1, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan, Tel +81 26 337 2659, Fax +81 26 335 8844, Email yxn14@ 123456aol.jp
                © 2015 Nakamura et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Case Series


                bone mineral density, fracture, vitamin k, vitamin d


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