Estrogen receptor gene polymorphism and bone mineral density at the lumbar spine of pre- and postmenopausal women

Bone. 1997 Nov;21(5):379-83. doi: 10.1016/s8756-3282(97)00178-6.


In order to analyze the role of the estrogen receptor (ER) gene allelic polymorphisms on bone mineral density (BMD), 173 pre- and postmenopausal women were divided into four groups according to their menstrual status (group A: premenopausal women; group B: late premenopausal women; group C: postmenopausal women who had menopause for 5 years or less; and group D: postmenopausal women who had menopause for more than 5 years), and the relationship between ER gene polymorphism and lumbar spine BMD, the percent annual change in BMD and biochemical markers were studied. The restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLPs) were represented as Xx (XbaI) and Pp (PvuII), with upper case and lower case letters signifying the absence or presence of restriction sites, respectively. In group A, the Xx genotype had significantly higher BMD (p < 0.01) than the xx genotype, but the difference was lost in groups B, C, and D. Because the percent annual change in BMD of group A was 0.052% and was not statistically different among genotypes, it is suggested that RFLP by Xba I is closely linked with peak bone mass that was attained during the subject's late thirties. In group B, serum N-region osteocalcin (N-OC) levels and the percent annual change in BMD showed a significantly larger increase than that of group A, indicating postmenopausal bone loss had commenced. Because the N-OC level of the Xx genotype was significantly higher than that of the xx genotype (p < 0.05), and the percent annual change in BMD of the Xx genotype showed a tendency to increase (p = 0.072), it is suggested that the high BMD of the Xx genotype is rapidly lost during menopausal transition. There were no significant relationships between RFLP and BMD in groups C and D, and between RFLP and BMD in groups C and D, and between RFLP by PvuII and BMD. The present study suggests that the Xx genotype is involved in accretion of BMD during young adulthood, but the effect was lost during menstrual transition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Bone Density / genetics
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Postmenopause / genetics
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Premenopause / genetics
  • Premenopause / physiology*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / genetics*


  • Biomarkers
  • Receptors, Estrogen