Some Osteoporosis May Be Due To An Autoimmune Disorder
Results of recent study revealed at 2012 ECTS Annual Congress, Stockholm, Sweden, 19-23 May
May 22, 2012, Stockholm, Sweden. Press Dispensary. According to a recent study by specialists from the University of Edinburgh and University of East Anglia, UK, screening patients for a particular type of antibody may be key to identifying those who have a form of severe osteoporosis due to an autoimmune disorder.
Following a previous known case of a patient with autoimmune disease and severe osteoporosis, caused by neutralising antibodies to osteoprotegerin (OPG)*, the study aimed to determine if OPG antibodies are also detectable in patients with osteoporosis whose cause is unknown.
The research team developed a direct capture ELISA assay using 96 well plates coated with recombinant OPG. Patient serum was added to each well with unbound antibody removed by serial washes. Bound antibodies were detected with peroxidase conjugated anti-human antibody. The team studied 20 normal controls and 243 consecutive patients attending a secondary referral centre for osteoporosis.
The study found that a total of 18 of the 243 osteoporotic patients (7.4%) had elevated titres of OPG autoantibodies (values >3SD above the mean in normal controls). These patients had more severe osteoporosis and were more likely to have suffered a vertebral fracture than those with normal antibody levels (normal mean +/- 3 SD). No association was observed between having high levels of antibody and a previous history of autoimmune disease or other established risk factors for osteoporosis.
Philip Riches, of the Rheumatology Department, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Edinburgh, says:
"Our study found that OPG autoantibodies can be detected in some patients with osteoporosis, even though they don’t have an autoimmune disease, and that the osteoporosis in those patients was more severe. Screening for OPG autoantibodies may help in defining a particular subgroup of patients with severe osteoporosis and could lead to developing an appropriate treatment for them."
- ends -
Notes for editors
For further information, please contact: