LRP5 gene polymorphisms and radiographic joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Osteoporos Int. 2018 Oct;29(10):2355-2368. doi: 10.1007/s00198-018-4625-3. Epub 2018 Jul 17.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by increased bone resorption and impaired bone formation. Osteoblast function is regulated by the canonical LRP5/Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Bone mineral density and RA joint destruction are partially inherited. In line with this, we found significant associations between LRP5 SNPs (p.A1330V, p.N740N, p.V667M) and RA radiographic damage severity.

Introduction: Increased bone resorption and impaired bone formation characterize rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway, signalled by lipoprotein receptor-related protein-5 (LRP5), regulates osteoblast function. Since bone mineral density (BMD) and RA joint destruction are partially inherited, we studied their association with LRP5 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Methods: Clinical data and peripheral blood for biomarkers assessment and LRP5 genotyping were collected from 208 RA patients. Hands and feet X-rays were scored [modified Sharp/van der Heijde Score (SHS), joint space narrowing (JSN), and erosion scores]. Lumbar spine, total left proximal femur, and left hand BMD were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Results: TT genotypes for p.A1330V and p.N740N LRP5 SNPs associated with total SHS, erosion score, and hands erosion score; the same for p.A1330V with feet JSN score and p.N740N with hands total score. AG genotype for p.V667M associated with sclerostin and hands JSN score. Femoral BMD associated with TC genotype for p.N740N. Multiple test correction precluded a few of these associations. Among V667M-N740N-A1330V haplotypes: GTT associated with higher feet JSN score (OR = 3.80; p = 0.016) and ATT with higher JSN score (OR = 4.60; p = 0.032), hands total score (OR = 5.65; p = 0.022), and total SHS (OR = 6.74; p = 0.024).

Conclusion: Significant associations between LRP5 SNPs (p.A1330V, p.N740N, and p.V667M) and the severity of radiographic damage reinforce the evidence of bone destruction heritability in RA.

Keywords: Bone mineral density; DXA; LRP5; Modified Sharp/van der Heijde score; Rheumatoid arthritis; Sclerostin.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Bone Density / genetics
  • Bone Resorption / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Resorption / etiology
  • Bone Resorption / genetics*
  • Bone Resorption / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Femur / physiopathology
  • Hand Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand Bones / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-5 / genetics*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Radiography


  • LRP5 protein, human
  • Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-5