High serum sclerostin levels are independently correlated with low muscle mass in healthy Korean adults, according to findings published in Bone.
“The Wnt/[beta]-catenin signaling pathway plays a significant role in skeletal muscle regeneration, insulin resistance and glucose metabolism, [and] sclerostin might be an important moderator of muscle mass,” Kyung Mook Choi, MD, a researcher in the department of endocrinology and metabolism at Korea University Guro Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues wrote. “However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have evaluated the relationship between high sclerostin levels and low muscle mass in humans. Therefore, the current study aimed to identify whether sclerostin level is correlated to skeletal muscle mass in healthy nondiabetic individuals using population-based cohort data.”
In a cross-sectional study, Choi and colleagues analyzed data from 240 healthy adults without diabetes participating in the Korean Sarcopenic Obesity Study, an epidemiologic, prospective, observational study that examined the prevalence of sarcopenic obesity among adults with and without diabetes. Participants underwent whole-body DXA measurements to assess body composition. Low muscle mass was defined as the sum of the appendicular skeletal muscle mass divided by the square of height, as proposed by the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia. Researchers used analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to compare serum sclerostin levels between tertiles of skeletal muscle mass index after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, smoking status, alcohol consumption, regular exercise, fasting plasma glucose, bone mineral content and total body fat mass.
High serum sclerostin levels are independently correlated with low muscle mass in healthy Korean adults.
Source: Adobe Stock
Researchers found that serum sclerostin was higher among participants with low muscle mass vs. those with normal muscle mass (mean, 151.3 pg/mL vs. 74.8 pg/mL; P = .001). In partial correlation analyses adjusted for age, sex and BMI, low muscle mass was negatively associated with sclerostin levels (P < .001). Additionally, sclerostin levels decreased linearly according to the first, second and third tertiles of muscle mass, with results persisting after adjustment for sex, age, BMI, FPG, bone mineral content and total body fat mass.
“In our partial correlation analysis, sclerostin level was negatively correlated to FPG level independent of sex, age and BMI,” the researchers wrote. “This finding contradicted the results of previous cross-sectional studies. A possible explanation for this unexpected negative correlation is the use of only one FPG measurement in nondiabetic participants in the study. FPG levels fluctuate, and a single value may not fully reflect glucose tolerance.”
The researchers noted that sclerostin was measured by immunoassay and that future studies should consider measurement via mass spectrometry. – by Regina Schaffer
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.