Low bone mineral density and peripheral blood monocyte activation profile in calcium stone formers with idiopathic hypercalciuria

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1997 Jan;82(1):32-8. doi: 10.1210/jcem.82.1.3649.


Calcium stone formers (CaSF) with idiopathic hypercalciuria (IH) have been shown to have decreased bone mineral density (BMD). The mechanism of their bone loss remains obscure. Monokines like interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and granulocyte macrophage stimulating factor (GM-CSF) are involved in bone remodeling, but only IL-1 excess has been incriminated in the bone loss of CaSF with IH. Therefore, to more precisely delineate the role of monocyte activation in the pathogenesis of bone loss in these patients, we studied the production of IL-1 beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha, and GM-CSF by unstimulated or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated cultured peripheral blood monocytes in 15 CaSF with IH, in 10 CaSF with dietary calcium-dependent hypercalciuria (DH), and in 10 healthy controls (C). Cytokines were measured in the culture medium by sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and vertebral BMD by single energy computed tomography. The decrease of vertebral BMD in IH compared with DH, was confirmed (Z score: -1.2 +/- 0.2 vs. -0.5 +/- 0.2; P = 0.04; Mann-Whitney). In the supernatant of unstimulated peripheral blood monocytes, IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha levels were higher in IH than in C (respectively, 40 +/- 21 vs. 7 +/- 1 pg/mL, P = 0.008 and 236 +/- 136 vs. 39 +/- 23 pg/mL, P = 0.03); those of GM-CSF were greater in IH than in DH and C (respectively, 52 +/- 27 vs. 6 +/- 2, P = 0.04 and 6 +/- 2 pg/mL, P = 0.01) and those of IL-6 were not significantly different among the groups. After in vitro stimulation by LPS (10 micrograms/mL), the levels of the various monokines were not significantly different. In IH patients, the post-LPS levels of IL-6 were negatively correlated to vertebral BMD (n = 15, Z = -1.97, P = 0.04; Spearman), whereas those of GM-CSF were positively related to vertebral BMD (n = 15, Z = 2.01, P = 0.04). In this study, calcium stone formers with IH have bone mineral decrease and a particular profile of peripheral blood monocytes activation. This latter is characterized by a spontaneously increased synthesis of IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, and GM-CSF. Furthermore, post-LPS levels of IL-6 and GM-CSF are correlated with vertebral BMD. These results suggest that monocyte activation may be involved in the bone loss of calcium stone formers with IH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Density*
  • Calcium / analysis*
  • Calcium / urine*
  • Female
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Kidney Calculi / chemistry*
  • Kidney Calculi / physiopathology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / physiology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Calcium