Objective: This study aims to evaluate the concentration of α-defensin human neutrophil peptide-1 (HNP-1; a peptide released by neutrophils) in salivary fluid among postmenopausal women and to compare bone mineral density among postmenopausal women with different concentrations of this peptide.
Methods: We consecutively enrolled 61 postmenopausal women. Bone density was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and α-defensin HNP-1 was identified by proteomic analysis of salivary fluid specimen.
Results: We found a significant difference in bone mineral density among postmenopausal women with different concentrations of α-defensin HNP-1 in salivary fluid. In particular, women with higher α-defensin concentrations had the lowest bone density in comparison with those with a lower concentration of defensin (P = 0.03 between groups). Univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses showed a significative inverse relationship between bone mineral density and age (r = −0.58, β = −0.56) and peak of α-defensin (r = −0.26, β = −0.21).
Conclusions: Low bone mineral density is found in postmenopausal women with high α-defensin HNP-1 concentrations. Therefore, α-defensin HNP-1 could be a novel biomarker for osteoporosis.
From the 1Proteomics Unit, Department of Health Sciences, and 2Clinical Nutrition Unit, Department of Surgical and Medical Sciences, University Magna Grecia, Catanzaro, Italy.
Received April 2, 2013; revised and accepted May 30, 2013.
T.M. was responsible for study design, data analysis, and manuscript writing. R.T. and V.M. performed proteomic analysis. V.M. was responsible for data collection and data integrity. R.S. and A.P. revised the manuscript and approved its final version.
Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.
Address correspondence to: Tiziana Montalcini, PhD, MD, Clinical Nutrition Unit, Department of Surgical and Medical Sciences, University Magna Grecia, Catanzaro, Italy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org