BACKGROUND: Post-menopausal osteoporosis (PO), one of the most common diseases in elderly women, is mainly caused by the menopause-related decline in 17β-estradiol (E2) level. Some experiments in vitro and in vivo suggest that the change of these hormones might due to oxidative stress (OxS). OBJECTIVES: to evaluate the possible role of OxS of bone health in women and to investigate if this effect might be influenced by E2 physiological level. METHODS: a cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of women including: 52 healthy in reproductive-age; 31 healthy in post-menopause; 44 osteoporotic in post-menopause. Total, femur and spine bone mineral density (BMD) were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in all subjects. Serum levels of F2-isoprostanes (F-iso), hydroperoxides (Hy), ascorbic acid, advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), thiols, and bone markers were also determined. RESULTS: spinal and total BMD were negatively, and independently, correlated (p<0.01 for both) with lipid hydroperoxides among women in postemenopause, but not among those in reproductive age. Notably, F-iso were found to be related to RANKL level (p<0.001) in postmenopausal women. CONCLUSION: in post-menopausal women bone loss was correlated with oxidative stress. We propose that menopause-related E2 withdrawal might contribute to make bone more vulnerable to oxidative injury thereby increasing the risk of PO development.
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