Reduced bone mineral density in glycogen storage disease type III: Evidence for a possible connection between metabolic imbalance and bone homeostasis

Daniela Melis, Alessandro Rossi, Rosario Pivonello, Antonio Del Puente, Claudia Pivonello, Giuliana Cangemi, Mariarosaria Negri, Annamaria Colao, Generoso Andria, Giancarlo Parenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Glycogen storage disease type III (GSDIII) is an inborn error of carbohydrate metabolism caused by deficient activity of glycogen debranching enzyme (GDE). It is characterized by liver, cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle involvement. The presence of systemic complications such as growth retardation, ovarian polycystosis, diabetes mellitus and osteopenia/osteoporosis has been reported. The pathogenesis of osteopenia/osteoporosis is still unclear. Objectives: The aim of the current study was to evaluate the bone mineral density (BMD) in GSDIII patients and the role of metabolic and endocrine factors and physical activity on bone status. Methods: Nine GSDIII patients were enrolled (age 2-20 years) and compared to eighteen age and sex matched controls. BMD was evaluated by Dual-emission-X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and Quantitative ultrasound (QUS). Clinical and biochemical parameters of endocrine system function and bone metabolism were analyzed. Serum levels of the metabolic control markers were evaluated. Physical activity was evaluated by administering the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Results: GSDIII patients showed reduced BMD detected at both DXA and QUS, decreased serum levels of IGF-1, free IGF-1, insulin, calcitonin, osteocalcin (OC) and increased serum levels of C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX). IGF-1 serum levels inversely correlated with AST and ALT serum levels. DXA Z-score inversely correlated with cholesterol and triglycerides serum levels and directly correlated with IGF-1/IGFBP3 molar ratio. No difference in physical activity was observed between GSDIII patients and controls. Discussion: Our data confirm the presence of reduced BMD in GSDIII. On the basis of the results, we hypothesized that metabolic imbalance could be the key factor leading to osteopenia, acting through different mechanisms: chronic hyperlipidemia, reduced IGF-1, Insulin and OC serum levels. Thus, the mechanism of osteopenia/osteoporosis in GSDIII is probably multifactorial and we speculate on the factors involved in its pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016


  • Bone mineral density
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • IGF-1
  • Insulin
  • Osteocalcin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology


Dive into the research topics of 'Reduced bone mineral density in glycogen storage disease type III: Evidence for a possible connection between metabolic imbalance and bone homeostasis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this