Steroid hormone receptor gene polymorphisms and osteoporosis: A pharmacogenomic review

Luigi Gennari, Vincenzo De Paola, Daniela Merlotti, Giuseppe Martini, Ranuccio Nuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Osteoporosis is a common skeletal disorder with a strong genetic component. In recent years, significant progress has been made in understanding the genetic basis of osteoporosis. Given the biological significance of signalling through steroid hormone receptors, bone biology and calcium homeostasis, alleles of steroid hormone receptor genes have been postulated to contribute to the well-documented genetic predisposition to osteoporosis; and in different studies, these alleles have been associated with variation in bone mass and fracture risk. Even though results are still conflicting and the molecular mechanisms by which these polymorphisms influence receptor activity remain, in part, to be investigated, an additional important issue is represented by potential pharmacogenomic (the investigation of variations of DNA or RNA characteristics as related to drug response) or pharmacogenetic (the influence of variations of DNA sequence on drug response) implications. In fact, steroid hormone receptors actually mediate the action of several compounds known to positively or negatively affect bone homeostasis, such as vitamin D, estrogen and glucocorticoids. This review analyses major pharmacogenetic studies of polymorphisms in steroid hormone receptor genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-553
Number of pages17
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Osteoporosis
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Pharmacogenomic
  • Polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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