We assessed several circulating proteins as candidate biomarkers of bone status in men with chronic spinal cord injury. We report that sclerostin is significantly associated with bone mineral content and bone density at all skeletal sites tested. We found no association between bone and any other tested biomarker. Introduction: Spinal cord injury results in severe osteoporosis. To date, no circulating biomarker of spinal cord injury (SCI)-induced osteoporosis has been identified. We recently reported that circulating sclerostin is associated with bone density in chronic SCI. In this study, we assessed several circulating proteins as candidate biomarkers of bone in men with chronic SCI. Methods: We assessed the relationship between bone mineral content or bone density and the following circulating bone-related proteins: sclerostin, DKK-1, soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand, osteoprotegerin, osteocalcin, and c-telopeptide in 39 men with chronic SCI and 10 men with no SCI. Results: After adjusting for age, lower sclerostin levels were significantly associated with lower bone mineral content and bone density at all skeletal sites tested (p = 0.0002-0.03). No other circulating protein was associated with bone mineral content or bone mineral density (p = 0.18-0.99). Conclusion: These findings suggest that circulating sclerostin reflects the severity of bone loss and is a candidate biomarker of osteoporosis severity in chronic SCI.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study received support from: the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [R21HD057030 and R21HD057030-02S1], the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases [1R01AR059270], and the Office of Research and Development, Rehabilitation Research and Development [Merit Review Grant B6618R].
- Bone biomarker
- Rehabilitation medicine
- Spinal cord injury