Damani JJ, De Souza MJ, Strock NCA, Koltun KJ, Williams NI, Weaver C, Rogers CJ.
Purpose: Hypoestrogenism triggers increased production of inflammatory mediators, which contribute to bone loss during postmenopausal osteoporosis. This study aimed to investigate the association between circulating inflammatory markers and bone outcomes in postmenopausal women.
Materials and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, secondary analysis of baseline data from participants who completed a 12-month randomized controlled trial, The Prune Study (NCT02822378), which included healthy postmenopausal women (n=183, 55-75 years old) with bone mineral density (BMD) T-score between 0.0 and -3.0 at any site. BMD was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and bone geometry and strength were measured using peripheral quantitative computed tomography. Blood was collected at baseline to measure (1) serum biomarkers of bone turnover, including procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide (P1NP) and C-terminal telopeptide and (2) inflammatory markers, including serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and plasma pro-inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The associations between bone and inflammatory outcomes at baseline were analyzed using correlation and regression analyses.
Results: Serum hs-CRP negatively correlated with P1NP (r=-0.197, p=0.042). Plasma IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α negatively correlated with trabecular bone score at the lumbar spine (all p<0.05). In normal-weight women, plasma IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 negatively correlated (p<0.05) with trabecular and cortical bone area, content, and density at various sites in the tibia and radius. Serum hs-CRP positively predicted lumbar spine BMD (β=0.078, p=0.028). Plasma IL-6 negatively predicted BMD at the total body (β=-0.131, p=0.027) and lumbar spine (β=-0.151, p=0.036), whereas plasma TNF-α negatively predicted total hip BMD (β=-0.114, p=0.028). Conclusion: At baseline, inflammatory markers were inversely associated with various estimates of bone density, geometry, and strength in postmenopausal women. These findings suggest that inflammatory markers may be an important mediator for postmenopausal bone loss.