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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013, Article ID 182060, 6 pages
Review Article

Osteoprotegerin as a Marker of Atherosclerosis in Diabetic Patients

12nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Athens Medical School, Aretaeio Hospital, 11526 Athens, Greece
2Obstetric-Gynecological Unit and Research Center, Evgenideio Hospital, University of Athens, 11526 Athens, Greece
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical School, University of Thessaly, 41334 Larissa, Greece
42nd University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hippokratio General Hospital, University of Thessaloniki Medical School, 54642 Thessaloniki, Greece
5Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General District Hospital “Helena Venizelou”, 11521 Athens, Greece
61st Department of Surgery, University of Athens Medical School, Laiko Hospital, 11527 Athens, Greece

Received 19 November 2012; Accepted 28 December 2012

Academic Editor: Anil K. Agarwal

Copyright © 2013 Areti Augoulea et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Atherosclerosis is the principal cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and has many risk factors, among which is diabetes. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a soluble glycoprotein, involved in bone metabolism. OPG is also found in other tissues, and studies have shown that it is expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells. OPG has been implicated in various inflammations and also has been linked to diabetes mellitus. Increased serum OPG levels were found in patients with diabetes and poor glycemic control. Furthermore, prepubertal children with type 1 diabetes have significantly increased OPG levels. Receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) is not found in the vasculature in normal conditions, but may appear in calcifying areas. OPG and RANKL are important regulators of mineral metabolism in both bone and vascular tissues. Few data are available on the relationship between plasma OPG/RANKL levels and endothelial dysfunction as assessed using noninvasive methods like ultrasound indexes, neither in the general population nor, more specifically, in diabetic patients. The aim of our review study was to investigate, based on the existing data, these interrelationships in order to identify a means of predicting, via noninvasive methods, later development of endothelial dysfunction and vascular complications in diabetic patients.