Bone Mineral Density in Relation to Polymorphism at the Vitamin D Receptor Gene Locus

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Polymorphism at the vitamin D receptor gene was examined in relation to bone mineral density (BMD) at spine, femur, and forearm in 86 monozygotic (MZ) and 39 dizygotic (DZ) adult female twins.All were white, 63 pairs (44 MZ, 19 DZ) were premenopausal, and 43 pairs (31 MZ, 12 DZ) were discordant for age at menopause or use of estrogen.Each individual of the DZ pairs and one individual of MZ pairs was genotyped for ApaI, BsmI, and TaqI polymorphism at the vitamin D receptor gene locus using Southern hybridization.Intraclass correlations for BMD in MZ and DZ twin pairs indicated that heritability accounted for over 70% of BMD.There was no relationship between genotype for any of the three polymorphisms and BMD at any skeletal site in the twin population, considered either as a total population, both with and without twins discordant for age at menopause or use of estrogen, or as a premenopausal population. In DZ twin pairs discordant for alleles for the three polymorphisms, no allele was associated with higher or lower BMD.It is concluded that in this population of healthy adult females there was no relationship between these polymorphisms at the vitamin D receptor gene locus and BMD.(J. Clin. Invest. 1994. 94:2130-2134.) Key words: twins. heritability. osteoporosis. age-related bone loss. fractures

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