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      Effects of parathyroid hormone treatment on circulating sclerostin levels in postmenopausal women.

      The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

      Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Bone Morphogenetic Proteins, blood, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, Genetic Markers, Humans, Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Middle Aged, Osteocalcin, Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal, drug therapy, Parathyroid Hormone, pharmacology, therapeutic use, Postmenopause, Prospective Studies, RANK Ligand, Treatment Outcome

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          Intermittent PTH treatment stimulates bone formation, but the mechanism(s) of this effect remain unclear. Sclerostin is an inhibitor of Wnt signaling, and animal studies have demonstrated that PTH suppresses sclerostin production. The objective of the study was to test whether intermittent PTH treatment of postmenopausal women alters circulating sclerostin levels. Prospective study. The study was conducted at a clinical research unit. Participants included 27 postmenopausal women treated with PTH (1-34) for 14 d and 28 control women. Serum sclerostin levels were measured. Circulating sclerostin levels decreased significantly in the PTH-treated subjects, from (mean ± SEM) 551 ± 32 to 482 ± 31 pg/ml (-12.7%, P < 0.0001) but did not change in the control women (baseline, 559 ± 34 pg/ml; end point, 537 ± 40 pg/ml, P = 0.207; P = 0.017 for difference in changes between groups). Bone marrow plasma was obtained in a subset of the control and PTH-treated subjects (n = 19 each) at the end of the treatment period, and marrow plasma and peripheral serum sclerostin levels were significantly correlated (R = 0.64, P < 0.0001). Marrow plasma sclerostin levels were 24% lower in PTH-treated compared with control women, but perhaps due to the smaller sample size, this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.173). Circulating sclerostin levels correlate with bone marrow plasma levels and are reduced by intermittent PTH therapy in postmenopausal women. Further studies are needed to assess the extent to which decreases in sclerostin production contribute to the anabolic skeletal response to PTH.

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