Utility of type I procollagen propeptide assays for assessing abnormalities in metabolic bone diseases

Peter R. Ebeling, James M. Peterson, B. Lawrence Riggs

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We measured type I procollagen carboxyl‐terminal propeptide (PICP) by a commercial radioimmunoassay and amino‐terminal propeptide (PINP) by an enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) developed in our laboratory in serum from 75 normal women, 10 growing girls, 84 normal men, and 197 patients with various metabolic bone diseases. The molar concentrations of serum PINP were 100‐fold higher than those of PICP, suggesting differences in the metabolism of PICP and PINP. In normal women, serum PICP values correlated positively with age and serum PINP values correlated negatively with age (r = 0.28 and −0.32, respectively; P = 0.02). In normal men, however, PICP correlated negatively with age (r = −0.32, P = 0.003) whereas PINP did not change. As assessed by Z scores (SD from age‐ and sex‐specific predicted normal mean), changes in serum PICP and PINP values were concordant in hypoparathyroidism (mean Z scores for PICP and PINP, −0.63 and −1.48, respectively) and Cushing's syndrome (0.50 and 0.40) but were discordant in acromegaly (0.78 and −0.68), hyperthyroidism (1.33 and −0.66), untreated postmenopausal osteoporosis (‐0.11 and 0.40), fluoride‐treated postmenopausal osteoporosis (‐0.61 and 1.08), Paget's disease (4.05 and −0.20), and chronic renal failure (1.45 and −0.50). With either assay, deviations from normal were less pronounced than the deviations of concurrently measured serum osteocalcin and bone alkaline phosphatase values. The deviations in these latter two values agreed better with those of PICP than with those of PINP, except in untreated or fluoride‐treated osteoporotic patients. We conclude that for assessing abnormalities in bone formation in metabolic bone diseases, assays for serum PICP or PINP generally are inferior to those for serum osteocalcin and bone alkaline phosphatase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1250
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes

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