Procollagen type III N-terminal peptide (P3NP) and lean mass: a cross-sectional study

Boston University, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, 111 Cummington St., Boston, MA 02115 (PG)
The journal of fraility & aging 11/2013; 2(3):129-134.
Source: PubMed


Procollagen type III N-terminal peptide (P3NP) is released during collagen synthesis in muscle. Increased circulating P3NP is a marker not only of muscle growth, but also of muscle repair and fibrosis. Thus, P3NP may be a potential biomarker for sarcopenia.
To determine the association between plasma P3NP and lean mass and strength.
A cross-sectional study of men and women from the Framingham Offspring Study. Participants included a convenience sample of 687 members with a measure of plasma P3NP and lean mass, and 806 members with P3NP and quadriceps strength assessment.
Linear regression was used to estimate the association between total and appendicular lean mass and plasma P3NP, and quadriceps strength and P3NP.
Mean age was 58 years. Median plasma P3NP was similar in men (3.4 mg/L), premenopausal women (3.1 mg/L), and postmenopausal women (3.0 mg/L). In adjusted models, higher P3NP was associated with a modest decrease in total and appendicular lean mass in postmenopausal women [β= -0.13 unit P3NP/kg total lean mass; p=0.003]. A similar trend was found among premenopausal women, although results were not statistically significant [β=-0.10 unit P3NP/kg total lean mass; p=0.41]. No association between P3NP and lean mass was observed in men. P3NP was not associated with strength in men or women.
Our results suggest that plasma P3NP might be a useful biomarker of muscle mass in postmenopausal women if longitudinal studies demonstrate that it has adequate sensitivity and specificity to predict muscle loss.

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