Early-Onset Osteoporosis: Rare Monogenic Forms Elucidate the Complexity of Disease Pathogenesis Beyond Type I Collagen

pubmed: wnt1 2022-11-24

J Bone Miner Res. 2022 Sep;37(9):1623-1641. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.4668. Epub 2022 Sep 11.


Early-onset osteoporosis (EOOP), characterized by low bone mineral density (BMD) and fractures, affects children, premenopausal women and men aged <50 years. EOOP may be secondary to a chronic illness, long-term medication, nutritional deficiencies, etc. If no such cause is identified, EOOP is regarded primary and may then be related to rare variants in genes playing a pivotal role in bone homeostasis. If the cause remains unknown, EOOP is considered idiopathic. The scope of this review is to guide through clinical and genetic diagnostics of EOOP, summarize the present knowledge on rare monogenic forms of EOOP, and describe how analysis of bone biopsy samples can lead to a better understanding of the disease pathogenesis. The diagnostic pathway of EOOP is often complicated and extensive assessments may be needed to reliably exclude secondary causes. Due to the genetic heterogeneity and overlapping features in the various genetic forms of EOOP and other bone fragility disorders, the genetic diagnosis usually requires the use of next-generation sequencing to investigate several genes simultaneously. Recent discoveries have elucidated the complexity of disease pathogenesis both regarding genetic architecture and bone tissue-level pathology. Two rare monogenic forms of EOOP are due to defects in genes partaking in the canonical WNT pathway: LRP5 and WNT1. Variants in the genes encoding plastin-3 (PLS3) and sphingomyelin synthase 2 (SGMS2) have also been found in children and young adults with skeletal fragility. The molecular mechanisms leading from gene defects to clinical manifestations are often not fully understood. Detailed analysis of patient-derived transiliac bone biopsies gives valuable information to understand disease pathogenesis, distinguishes EOOP from other bone fragility disorders, and guides in patient management, but is not widely available in clinical settings. Despite the great advances in this field, EOOP remains an insufficiently explored entity and further research is needed to optimize diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).

PMID:35949115 | PMC:PMC9542053 | DOI:10.1002/jbmr.4668