Increased cortical advanced glycation end products contribute to brittle bones in men with type 2 diabetes

Researchers found higher advanced glycation end-product content — associated with decreased bone strength — in the cortical bone of men with vs. without type 2 diabetes, according to data presented at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Annual Meeting.

Pablo Palomino, a PhD student in biomedical engineering at Cornell University, and colleagues examined bone samples collected during total hip arthroplasty for osteoarthritis from 33 men with type 2 diabetes (mean age, 64 years; mean preoperative HbA1c, 6.9%) and 32 men without diabetes (mean age, 60 years; mean preoperative HbA1c, 5.5%) to assess initiation and propagation toughness (via variable-pressure scanning electron microscopy), crack tortuosity and cortical morphometric parameters (via micro-CT) and total fluorescent advanced glycation end-product (AGE) content (via fluorescence spectrometry).

The researchers found that men with type 2 diabetes had 19% more AGE content in the cortical bone of the femoral neck compared with those without diabetes (P = .05); AGE content was not corelated with HbA1c. Lower initiation toughness was associated with increased AGE content (P < .03). Bone toughness, crack tortuosity and cortical morphometric parameters did not differ between the two groups.

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