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Circulating serum sclerostin levels are supposed to give a good estimation of the levels of this negative regulator of bone mass within bone. Most studies evaluating total serum sclerostin found different levels in males compared to females and in older compared to younger subjects. Besides an ELISA detecting total sclerostin an ELISA determining bioactive sclerostin has been developed. The aim of this study was to investigate serum levels of bioactive sclerostin in an Austrian population-based cohort.
We conducted a cross-sectional observational study in 235 healthy subjects. Using the bioactive ELISA assay (Biomedica) bioactive sclerostin levels were evaluated.
Serum levels of bioactive sclerostin were higher in men than in women (24%). The levels correlated positively with age (r = 0.47). A positive correlation could also be detected with body mass index and bone mineral density.
Using the ELISA detecting bioactive sclerostin our results are consistent with data in the literature obtained by different sclerostin assays. The determination of sclerostin concentrations in peripheral blood thus appears to be a robust parameter of bone metabolism.