Serum OPG and RANKL levels before and after intravenous bisphosphonate treatment in Paget's disease of bone

G. Martini, L. Gennari, D. Merlotti, S. Salvadori, M. B. Franci, S. Campagna, A. Avanzati, V. De Paola, F. Valleggi, R. Nuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paget's disease of bone (PDB) is a focal disorder of bone remodeling characterized by increased osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Even though increasing evidence indicates enhanced nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) signaling as a common mechanism involved in PDB and other related disorders, few studies investigated circulating osteoprotegerin (OPG) and receptor of activator of NF-kB-ligand (RANKL) levels in PDB patients. In this study we explored the relationships between OPG or RANKL levels and bone turnover markers in a group of patients with PDB, before and after intravenous bisphosphonate treatment (pamidronate 60 mg). Both OPG and RANKL were markedly elevated in PDB patients with respect to control groups (healthy or osteoporotic postmenopausal women and elderly men) and were positively associated with bone turnover markers. Higher levels of these cytokines were observed in polyostotic than monostotic PDB cases. The ratio between RANKL and OPG was more than 3-fold higher in PDB patients than in controls. Interestingly, in the group of patients treated with pamidronate, we found an increase in OPG levels that become statistically significant after 3 and 6 months from treatment. A trend toward a decrease in RANKL levels after treatment was also observed. The RANKL/OPG ratio was significantly reduced after 3 and 6 months of therapy. In contrast, in patients classified as non-responders, OPG and RANKL levels after pamidronate infusion did not significantly differ with respect to pre-treatment values. Thus, the positive effect of amino bisphosphonates in the treatment of PDB may be due to either direct or indirect suppression of RANKL-induced bone resorption through decreased RANKL and increased OPG production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-463
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • NF-kB signaling
  • OPG
  • Paget's disease of bone
  • Pamidronate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hematology


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