J Bone Miner Metab 2019 Aug 30. Epub 2019 Aug 30.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Pathogenic mutations in the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) are associated with obesity, increased linear growth, and higher bone mass in children, and rodent studies have indicated an effect of the MC4R on bone turnover. Furthermore, GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) may influence bone metabolism. However, these associations have not been assessed in adults with pathogenic MC4R mutations. Thus, we wished to assess the impact of the MC4R on bone mass and metabolism. Secondly, we wished to investigate the impact of the GLP-1 RA liraglutide on bone mass in adults with pathogenic MC4R mutations. 17 patients with obesity-causing MC4R mutations (BMI: 35.5 ± 7.6) and 35 matched control participants with common obesity (BMI: 34.3 ± 7.1) underwent a DEXA scan for assessment of bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral apparent density [BMAD = (BMD/√(bone area)], and bone turnover markers (BTMs). Individuals with a BMI above 28 (14 MC4R mutation carriers and 28 matched control participants) underwent 16 weeks treatment with liraglutide 3.0 mg. The MC4R group had higher BMD [mean difference: 0.065 g/m (- 0.008 to 0.138), p = 0.03], but BMAD and BTMS were not different compared to the control group. In response to liraglutide, BMAD increased in the control group, compared to no change in the MC4R group [mean group difference: 0.0007 (0.0001-0.001), p = 0.04]. In conclusion, BMD is increased in MC4R causal obesity compared to common obesity, but when corrected for body size (BMAD), bone mass was not increased, and no evidence of an influence of the MC4R on bone metabolism in adults was found. Liraglutide treatment did not change bone metabolism in MC4R causal obesity, but increased bone mass as measured by BMAD in common obesity.