Sclerostin concentrations in athletes: Role of load and gender

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Bone mass is the net product of formation and resorption, which are closely regulated by the equilibrium between endogenous/exogenous factors. Sclerostin inhibits the Wnt canonical signaling and is considered an anti-anabolic factor. We compared sclerostin serum concentrations between genders in athletes belonging to different sport disciplines, characterized by a different weight-bearing, and in their sedentary counterparts in order to study the possible link between bone metabolism in athletes and its peripheral concentration. We also compared sclerostin levels with bone alkaline phosphatase activity, a marker of bone formation. Sixty-one elite athletes, belonging to weight-bearing (15 male rugby players, 11 male enduro racers, 8 female basketball players), high-impact (6 male tennis players, 8 female ice skaters), non weight-bearing sports (13 male cyclists) and 16 sedentary controls were enrolled. Higher levels of sclerostin were found in females. Sclerostin was higher in weight-bearing than in non-weight-bearing disciplines in males. Significant inverse age-related correlation was found. Higher bone alkaline phosphatase activity was observed in females. The young adult elite athlete represents a peculiar physiologic model for studying sclerostin behavior: the applied load increased the marker concentrations, testifying a high bone turnover rate; however, a gender effect is evident.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Bone alkaline phosphatase
  • Gender
  • Sclerostin
  • Sedentary
  • Workload
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Cancer Research

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