Study Finds Potential Bio-marker to Detect Age-related trabecular bone loss
Bone loss in elderly people, often named as senile osteoporosis, takes place with ageing, which leads to bone fragility and increased fractures risk. It has been one of the most severe diseases affecting the elderly population worldwide. In a recent study, researchers have reported that a decline in serum Gal-1 level in mice and man is associated with age-related trabecular bone loss. The study findings were published in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders on April 27, 2021.
The role of Gal-1 in osteoporosis has not been investigated so far. Therefore, Dr Wenting Xu and his team conducted a preclinical study to quantify serum Gal-1 level in young and aged mice to evaluate its utility as a biomarker for predicting an age-related trabecular bone loss. Further, they evaluated the clinical data of BMD and Gal-1 levels in peripheral blood serum from male volunteers within various age groups and investigated the relationship between them.
In a preclinical study, the researchers included 6 and 18-month-old mice to establish an animal model of age-related trabecular bone loss, whose bone density and microstructure were investigated by micro-CT. They used ELISA to measure the levels of Gal-1 in serum. They performed correlation analysis to illustrate the relationship between serum Gal-1 levels and trabecular bone loss. They further used immunohistochemistry to investigate the abundance of Gal-1 in the bone marrow of mice. ELISA and western blot were performed to measure the secretion ability and protein expression of Gal-1 in bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC), hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and myeloid progenitor (MP) respectively. They also used flow cytometry to measure BMSC number in the bone marrow.
In a clinical study, they included 92 Chinese male volunteers with age-related BMD decrease and analyzed the relationship between serum Gal-1 and BMD.
Key findings of the study were:
- In the preclinical study, the researchers found an age-related decline of Gal-1 in mice serum.
- They noted that the serum Gal-1 was positively associated with BV/TV of femur, tibia and L1 vertebrae in mice.
- They observed that BMSC secreted more Gal-1 compared with HSC and MP.
- They noted that BMSC number in bone marrow was significantly lower in aged mice compared with young mice.
- They observed a significant attenuation of Gal-1 protein expression in BMSC and HSC from aged mice compared with young mice.
- Upon clinical assessment, they found a decline in serum Gal-1 levels in men with age-related BMD decrease.
- They also found a positive correlation between BMD and serum Gal-1 levels in these men.
The authors concluded, "Age-related trabecular bone loss is associated with a decline in serum Gal-1 level in mice and men. Our study suggested Gal-1 had great potential to be a biomarker for discovering BMSC senescence, diagnosing early osteoporosis and monitoring trabecular bone loss."
For further information: