Purpose: Osteopathy/osteoporosis in Gaucher disease type 1 (GD1) shows variable responses to enzyme replacement therapy (ERT); the pathogenesis is incompletely understood. We aimed to investigate the effects of several gene variants on bone mineral density (BMD) and serum markers of bone metabolism in GD1.
Patients and methods: Fifty adult Caucasian patients with GD1/117 controls were genotyped for gene variants in the osteoprotegerin (TNFRSF11B; OPG), estrogen receptor alpha, calcitonin receptor (CALCR), and vitamin D receptor (VDR) genes. In patients and 50 matched healthy controls, we assessed clinical data, serum markers of bone metabolism, and subclinical inflammation. BMD was measured for the first time before/during ERT (median 6.7 years).
Results: Forty-two percent of patients were splenectomized. ERT led to variable improvements in BMD. Distribution of gene variants was comparable between patients/controls. The AA genotype (c.1024+283G>A gene variant; VDR gene) was associated with lower Z scores before ERT vs GA (P=0.033), was encountered in 82.3% of patients with osteoporosis and was more frequent in patients with pathological fractures. Z score increases during ERT were higher in patients with the CC genotype (c.9C>G variant, TNFRSF11B; OPG gene; P=0.003) compared with GC (P=0.003). The CC genotype (c.1340T>C variant, CALCR gene) was associated with higher Z scores before ERT than the TT genotype (P=0.041) and was absent in osteoporosis. Osteocalcin and OPG were lower in patients vs controls; beta crosslaps, interleukin-6, and ferritin were higher.
Conclusions: We suggest for the first time a protective role against osteoporosis in GD1 patients for the CC genotype of the c.9C>G gene variant in the TNFRSFB11 (OPG) gene and for the CC genotype of the c.1340T>C gene variant (CALCR gene), while the AA genotype of the c.1024+283G>A gene variant in the VDR gene appears as a risk factor for lower BMDs. Serum markers suggest decreased osteosynthesis, reduced inhibition of osteoclast activation, increased bone resorption, and subclinical inflammation during ERT.
Keywords: Gaucher disease; calcitonin receptor; gene variants; osteoporosis; osteoprotegerin; vitamin D receptor.