Title:
METHOD OF DETERMINING THE RISK OF SCOLIOSIS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for determining the risk for developing a scoliosis comprising monitoring osteopontin (OPN) expression in a sample from a subject over time; wherein an OPN expression that increases in the subject sample over time is indicative that the subject is at risk for developing a scoliosis.



Inventors:
Moreau, Alain (Montreal, CA)
Application Number:
12/594181
Publication Date:
03/25/2010
Filing Date:
03/31/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
435/6.12, 435/7.92, 436/57
International Classes:
C12Q1/68; A23L33/00; G01N23/00; G01N33/53
View Patent Images:



Other References:
Xu et al. Overexpression of osteopontin in rheumatoid synovial mononuclear cells is associated with joint inflammation, not with genetic polymorphism. The Journal of Rheumatology 32:410-6 (2005).
Primary Examiner:
DEBERRY, REGINA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLARQUIST SPARKMAN, LLP (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
1. A method for determining the risk for developing a scoliosis comprising (a) monitoring osteopontin (OPN) expression in a sample from a subject over time; or (b) measuring osteopontin (OPN) expression in a sample from a subject; wherein an OPN expression that increases in the subject sample over time or wherein an OPN expression that is higher in the subject sample than that in a control sample, is indicative that the subject is at risk for developing a scoliosis.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the monitoring begins when the subject is about three years old.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the monitoring is performed by measuring OPN expression at a frequency of at least about once per month.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the monitoring is performed by measuring OPN expression at a frequency of at least about once per six month.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the monitoring OPN expression is performed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or radioimmunoassay (RIA).

6. (canceled)

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the subject is a likely candidate for developing a scoliosis.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the subject is a likely candidate for developing adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the subject is pre-diagnosed as having a scoliosis.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the subject is pre-diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

11. A method of stratifying a subject having a scoliosis comprising measuring osteopontin (OPN) expression in a sample from the subject; whereby the measuring step enables the stratification of the subject into a scoliosis subgroup.

12. A method for assessing the efficacy of a brace on a subject having a scoliosis comprising measuring osteopontin (OPN) expression in a sample from the subject prior to and at least once after bracing the subject, wherein an increase in the OPN expression after as compared to prior to bracing the subject is indicative that the brace is ineffective.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the determining the OPN expression after the bracing is performed at least one month after the bracing.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein the determining the OPN expression after bracing the subject is performed at least two months hours after the bracing.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein the determining the OPN expression after bracing the subject is performed at least three months after the bracing.

16. The method of claim 12, wherein the determining the OPN expression after bracing the subject is performed at least six months after the bracing.

17. The method of claim 1, wherein the method further comprises measuring soluble CD44 receptor (sCD44) expression in the sample from the subject.

18. The method of claim 1, wherein the sample from the subject is a biological fluid from the subject.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the biological fluid is selected from the group consisting of blood, urine, tear and saliva.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the biological fluid is plasma.

21. The method of claim 1, wherein the OPN expression is OPN protein.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein the determining of the OPN expression is performed with an antibody that specifically binds to OPN.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the measuring OPN expression is performed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

24. The method of claim 23, wherein the sample is a plasma sample and an OPN expression that is higher than 700 nanograms per milliliter of plasma is indicative that the subject is at risk for developing a scoliosis.

25. The method of claim 23, wherein the sample is a plasma sample and an OPN expression that is higher than 800 nanograms per milliliter of plasma is indicative that the subject is at risk for developing a scoliosis.

26. The method of claim 1, wherein the OPN expression is OPN RNA.

27. The method of claim 1, wherein the sample from the subject is a paraspinal muscle biopsy and the OPN expression is OPN RNA.

28. A method of selecting an agent as a potential candidate for the reduction or prevention of scoliosis comprising: (a) contacting a candidate agent with a cell expressing osteopontin (OPN), and detecting the expression of OPN, wherein when the expression of OPN is lower in the presence of the candidate agent as compared to in the absence thereof, the candidate agent is selected; (b) contacting a candidate agent with a cell expressing sCD44, and detecting the expression of sCD44, wherein when the expression of sCD44 is higher in the presence of the candidate agent as compared to in the absence thereof, the candidate agent is selected; or (c) administering a candidate agent to a scoliosis model animal before scoliosis has developed in the animal, whereby the candidate is selected when the scoliosis is prevented or reduced in the model animal as compared to in a control animal who was not administered the candidate agent.

29. (canceled)

30. The method of claim 28, wherein the cell is a cell derived from a scoliotic patient.

31. (canceled)

32. A method of preventing or reducing scoliosis comprising administering to a subject having scoliosis a therapeutically effective amount of (a) an osteopontin inhibitor (OPN) or a selenium rich diet; (b) a CD44 inhibitor; or (c) a sCD44 stimulator, whereby scoliosis is thereby prevented or treated.

33. 33-34. (canceled)

35. The method of claim 1 wherein the subject is human.

36. The method of claim 1 wherein the subject is human female.

37. The method of claim 1 wherein the subject is human male.

38. 38-47. (canceled)

48. A kit for predicting the risk of developing a scoliosis comprising a ligand specific to osteopontin (OPN) and instructions to use the kit for predicting the risk of developing a scoliosis.

49. The kit of claim 48, further comprising a ligand specific to soluble CD44 (sCD44).

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority, under 35 U.S.C. §119(e), of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/909,408, filed on Mar. 30, 2007 and on U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 61/025,571, filed on Feb. 1, 2008. All documents above are incorporated herein in their entirety by reference.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

N/A.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to methods of determining the risk of developing scoliosis, methods of stratifying a subject having a scoliosis, methods for assessing the efficacy of a brace on a subject having a scoliosis, and kits therefor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Spinal deformities and scoliosis in particular, represent the most prevalent type of orthopedic deformities in children and adolescents, while adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) represents the most common form of scoliosis.

The etiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) remains poorly understood resulting in the traditional paradigm that AIS is a multi-factorial disease with a genetic predisposition.(1-7) The occurrence of a melatonin signaling dysfunction in cells derived from biopsies obtained intraoperatively from affected AIS patients has been reported.8

Unfortunately, there is no proven method or test available to identify children or adolescents at risk of developing AIS or to identify, which of the affected individuals may require treatment due to the risk of progression. Consequently, the application of current treatments, such as bracing or surgical correction, is delayed until a significant deformity is detected or until a significant progression is clearly demonstrated, resulting in a delayed and less optimal treatment.29

The present description refers to a number of documents, the content of which is herein incorporated by reference in their entirety.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

More specifically, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a method for determining the risk for developing a scoliosis comprising monitoring osteopontin (OPN) expression in a sample from a subject over time; wherein an OPN expression that increases in the subject sample over time is indicative that the subject is at risk for developing a scoliosis.

In a specific embodiment, the monitoring begins when the subject is about three years old. In another specific embodiment, the monitoring is performed by measuring OPN expression at a frequency of at least about once per month. In another specific embodiment, the monitoring is performed by measuring OPN expression at a frequency of at least about once per six month. In another specific embodiment, the method further comprises measuring sCD44 expression in a sample from the subject. In another specific embodiment, the monitoring OPN expression is performed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or radioimmunoassay (RIA).

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a method for determining the risk for developing a scoliosis comprising measuring osteopontin (OPN) expression in a sample from a subject; wherein an OPN expression that is higher in the subject sample than that in a control sample is indicative that the subject is at risk for developing a scoliosis.

In another specific embodiment, the subject is a likely candidate for developing a scoliosis. In another specific embodiment, the subject is a likely candidate for developing adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. In another specific embodiment, the subject is pre-diagnosed as having a scoliosis.

In another specific embodiment, the subject is pre-diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of stratifying a subject having a scoliosis comprising measuring osteopontin (OPN) expression in a sample from the subject; whereby the measuring step enables the stratification of the subject into a scoliosis subgroup.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for assessing the efficacy of a brace on a subject having a scoliosis comprising measuring osteopontin (OPN) expression in a sample from the subject prior to and at least once after bracing the subject, wherein an increase in the OPN expression after as compared to prior to bracing the subject is indicative that the brace is ineffective.

In a specific embodiment, the determining the OPN expression after the bracing is performed at least one month after the bracing. In another specific embodiment, the determining the OPN expression after bracing the subject is performed at least 2 months hours after the bracing. In another specific embodiment, the determining the OPN expression after bracing the subject is performed at least three months after the bracing. In another specific embodiment, the determining the OPN expression after bracing the subject is performed at least six months after the bracing.

In another specific embodiment, the method further comprises measuring soluble CD44 receptor (sCD44) expression in the sample from the subject.

In another specific embodiment, the sample from the subject is a biological fluid from the subject. In another specific embodiment, the biological fluid is selected from the group consisting of blood, urine, tear and saliva. In another specific embodiment, the biological fluid is plasma.

In another specific embodiment, the OPN expression is OPN protein. In another specific embodiment, the determining of the OPN expression is performed with an antibody that specifically binds to OPN. In another specific embodiment, the measuring OPN expression is performed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In another specific embodiment, the sample is a plasma sample and an OPN expression that is higher than 700 nanograms per milliliter of plasma is indicative that the subject is at risk for developing a scoliosis. In another specific embodiment, the sample is a plasma sample and an OPN expression that is higher than 800 nanograms per milliliter of plasma is indicative that the subject is at risk for developing a scoliosis.

In another specific embodiment, the OPN expression is OPN RNA. In another specific embodiment, the sample from the subject is a paraspinal muscle biopsy and the OPN expression is OPN RNA.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of selecting an agent as a potential candidate for the reduction or prevention of scoliosis comprising contacting a candidate agent with a cell expressing osteopontin (OPN), and detecting the expression of OPN, wherein when the expression of OPN is lower in the presence of the candidate agent as compared to in the absence thereof, the candidate agent is selected.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of selecting an agent as a potential candidate for the reduction or prevention of scoliosis comprising contacting a candidate agent with a cell expressing sCD44, and detecting the expression of sCD44, wherein when the expression of OPN is higher in the presence of the candidate agent as compared to in the absence thereof, the candidate agent is selected.

In another specific embodiment, the cell is a cell derived from a scoliotic patient.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of selecting an agent as a potential candidate for the prevention or reduction of scoliosis comprising administering a candidate agent to a scoliosis model animal before scoliosis has developed in the animal, whereby the candidate is selected when the scoliosis is prevented or reduced in the model animal as compared to in a control animal who was not administered the candidate agent.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of preventing or reducing scoliosis comprising administering to a subject having scoliosis a therapeutically effective amount of an osteopontin inhibitor (OPN) or a selenium rich diet, whereby scoliosis is thereby prevented or treated.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of preventing or reducing scoliosis comprising administering to a subject having scoliosis a therapeutically effective amount of a CD44 inhibitor, whereby scoliosis is thereby prevented or treated.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of preventing or reducing scoliosis comprising administering to a subject having scoliosis a therapeutically effective amount of a sCD44 stimulator, whereby scoliosis is thereby prevented or treated.

In a specific embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the subject is human. In another specific embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the subject is human female. In another specific embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the subject is human male.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided an osteopontin inhibitor for use in the treatment or prevention of scoliosis.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a CD44 inhibitor for use in the treatment or prevention of scoliosis.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sCD44 stimulator for use in the treatment or prevention of scoliosis.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a use of an osteopontin inhibitor in the manufacture of a medicament for the prevention or the treatment of scoliosis.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a use of an osteopontin inhibitor for the prevention or the treatment of scoliosis.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a use of a CD44 inhibitor in the manufacture of a medicament for the prevention or the treatment of scoliosis.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a use of a CD44 inhibitor for the prevention or the treatment of scoliosis.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a use of a sCD44 stimulator in the manufacture of a medicament for the prevention or the treatment of scoliosis.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a use of a sCD44 stimulator for the prevention or the treatment of scoliosis.

In a specific embodiment of the uses of the present invention, the scoliosis is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a kit for predicting the risk of developing a scoliosis comprising a ligand specific to osteopontin (OPN) and instructions to use the kit for predicting the risk of developing a scoliosis. In a specific embodiment, the kit further comprises a ligand specific to soluble CD44 (sCD44).

Other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become more apparent upon reading of the following non-restrictive description of specific embodiments thereof, given by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the appended drawings:

FIG. 1 presents OPN detection in pinealectomized chicken and corresponding scoliosis. Upper and lower panels illustrates the up regulation of OPN expression detected in paraspinal muscles of pinealectomized chicken developing a scoliosis (S) vs. those remaining unaffected (NS) at the mRNA and protein levels respectively;

FIG. 2 graphically presents in the left panel the dynamic variation of circulating OPN levels in scoliotic bipedal C57BI/6j mice after surgery, and in the right panel presents typical x-rays of scoliotic deformities observed in bipedal C57BI/6j mice, where females (708) are more severely affected than males (907);

FIG. 3 shows a variation in plasma melatonin concentrations in different mouse strains. S=scoliotic; NS=non-scoliotic;

FIG. 4 shows the effect of the pharmacological inhibition of OPN transcription on scoliotic pinealectomized chicken;

FIG. 5 graphically presents the sensitivity and specificity of plasma osteopontin in healthy control subjects, AIS patients and at risk asymptomatic subjects. In Panel A, an analysis that included 33 healthy control subjects and 32 AIS patients with severe Cobb's Angle (45°) revealed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.94 with a standard error of 0.03 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.88 to 1.000). In Panel B, the use of a cut-off value of 700 nanograms per ml of osteopontin showed a high sensitivity (90.6%) and a very good specificity (81.8%) for the early detection of AIS and for detecting the risk of scoliosis progression. In Panel C, the use of a cut-off value of 800 nanograms/ml of osteopontin also showed a high sensitivity (84.9%) and a higher specificity (90.9%) for the early detection of AIS and for detecting the risk of scoliosis progression. In Panel D, a clear correlation between the levels of plasma osteopontin and the Cobb's angle is demonstrated using all AIS patients, yielding a p-value<0.001 and r2=0.26;

FIG. 6 presents graphs showing the distribution of age in the different groups for male and female combined (control, at risk, AIS<45 and AIS≧45) (Panel A), and separated by sex female (Panel B) and male (Panel C);

FIG. 7 shows profiles of change in OPN levels, sCD44 levels, and Cobb's angle over follow up time in 4 selected AIS female patients (not under brace treatment) aged 12 (red), 14 (green and blue), and 17 (yellow) at baseline visit;

FIG. 8 shows the distribution of total change in OPN (left panel) and sCD44 (left panel) levels over follow-up time in AIS patients with worsened curve deformity (total increase in Cobb's angle greater than 3°; n=14) and in those without significant change in curve (no change in Cobb's angle, decrease, or increase smaller than 3°; n=36);

FIG. 9 presents graphs showing OPN progression correlated with Cobb's angle progression in AIS patients;

FIG. 10 presents graphs showing OPN regression or stabilization correlated with Cobb's angle regression or stabilization in AIS patients;

FIG. 11 shows profiles of change in OPN and sCD44 levels over follow up time in 4 selected at risk subjects without scoliosis: one male aged 13 (green), and 3 female aged 5 (gold), 11 (blue), and 9 (red) at baseline visit;

FIG. 12 compares OPN, sCD44 and HA levels in non AIS scoliotic patients (NAIS) (OPN (n=28), sCD44 (n=18), HA (n=24)), healthy controls (n=35) and AIS patients (n=252);

FIG. 13 presents a histogram comparison of circulating levels of OPN change in function of spine biomechanics in pre-operated AIS patients (n=79) vs. post-operated AIS patients (n=28);

FIG. 14 presents a histogram comparison of circulating levels of OPN and sCD44 of in pre-operated AIS female (OPN (n=10); sCD44 (n=15)) vs. post-operated AIS female (OPN (n=10); sCD44 (n=12));

FIG. 15 presents charts distributing AIS patients across the predefined cut-off zones pre-operation (Panel A) and post-operation (Panel B);

FIG. 16 presents charts distributing AIS patients across the predefined cut-off zones prior to being treated with bracing (Panel A) and after bracing (Panel B);

FIG. 17 illustrates a hypothetic molecular concept underlying spinal deformity progression in AIS;

FIG. 18 presents a graph that correlates selenium levels in AIS patients with OPN levels;

FIG. 19 presents a histogram comparing selenium levels in three categories of subjects: controls, low OPN producers and high OPN producers;

FIG. 20 presents the nucleotide sequences of the three human OPN isoforms (transcript variant 1, mRNA NM001040058 (SEQ ID NO: 1); transcript variant 2, mRNA NM000582 (SEQ ID NO: 2); transcript variant 3, mRNA NM001040060 (SEQ ID NO: 3) and the amino acid sequences of the three human OPN isoforms (isoform a NP001035147 (SEQ ID NO: 4); isoform b NP000573 (SEQ ID NO: 5); and isoform c NP001035149 (SEQ ID NO: 6));

FIG. 21 presents the nucleotide sequences (mRNA) of six isoforms of human CD44 (NM000610 transcript variant 1 (SEQ ID NO: 7); NM001001389 transcript variant 2 (SEQ ID NO: 8); NM001001390 transcript variant 3 (SEQ ID NO: 9); NM001001391 transcript variant 4 (SEQ ID NO: 10); NM001001392 transcript variant 5 (SEQ ID NO: 11); X62739 Isoform identified in tumour cells (SEQ ID NO: 12)) and amino acid sequences of six isoforms of human sCD44 (NP000601 isoform 1 precursor (SEQ ID NO: 13); NP001001389 isoform 2 precursor (SEQ ID NO: 14); NP 001001390 isoform 3 precursor (SEQ ID NO: 15); NP 001001391 isoform 4 precursor (SEQ ID NO: 16); NP001001392 isoform 5 precursor (SEQ ID NO: 17); and CAA44602 Isoform identified in tumour cells (SEQ ID NO: 18)); and

FIG. 22 shows the structure of sCD44 (Panel A), the origin of the various CD44 isoforms (Panel B) and the cleavage site in one sCD44 isoform (SEQ ID NO: 23).

DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

The involvement of osteopontin (OPN) (also called secreted phosphoprotein 1, bone sialoprotein I, early T-lymphocyte activation 1), a multifunctional cytokine, was investigated in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and plasma OPN concentrations were determined in three populations: patients with AIS, healthy controls without any family antecedent for scoliosis and asymptomatic offspring, born from at least one scoliotic parent, who are considered as at risk (“children at risk”).

A group of 252 consecutive patients with AIS were compared with 35 healthy control subjects without any family history of scoliosis and 70 asymptomatic at risk subjects. All subjects were Caucasians and demographic characteristics are shown in Table 2 below. Plasma OPN, soluble CD44 receptor (sCD44), and hyaluronan (HA) levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Pinealectomized chicken and genetically modified bipedal C57BI/6j mice devoid of either OPN or CD44 receptor, a known OPN receptor, were also studied.

Mean plasma OPN concentration in patients with AIS were significantly higher (p-value<0.001) in patients with AIS having a Cobb's angle>45° (965±414 nanograms per milliliter) than that in healthy controls (570±156 nanograms per milliliter) and than that in AIS patients with a Cobb's angle<45° (799±284 nanograms per milliliter). Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of OPN for AIS was 84.4 percent and 90.6 percent respectively (cut-off value≧800 nanograms per milliliter). Subgroup analysis showed that 47.9 percent of children at risk had OPN values higher than 800 nanograms per milliliter as opposed to only 8.6 percent for the controls indicating that elevated plasma OPN levels precede scoliosis formation. There were no significant differences in mean plasma sCD44 levels and HA levels between all groups. In respect to pathophysiology of scoliosis, the bipedal C57BI/6j mouse model demonstrated that the development of scoliosis requires OPN interactions with CD44 receptors since none of the genetically modified bipedal mice developed a scoliosis. Cut-off values for OPN disclosed herein were calculated using the commercial Elisa kit specific to human OPN from IBL. They may vary when a OPN expression (mRNA or protein) is measured differently (e.g. measuring OPN expression in a different biological sample through OPN RNA or OPN protein but using a different antibody).

OPN (also called secreted phosphoprotein-1, minopontin, or Eta-1) is a phosphorylated glycoprotein containing an arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) sequence present in mineralized tissues such as extracellular matrices. This multifunctional cytokine is involved in many pathological conditions.9,10 The presence of OPN transcripts and proteins in postural control centers such as the cerebellum, skeletal muscle proprioceptive sensory organs, and inner ear structures that control of equilibrium(11) is of interest, since AIS patients also exhibit defects in postural control, proprioception and equilibrium.(12,13) High plasma OPN levels have been found in different adult cancers and inflammatory conditions30-33.

OPN signaling action: The OPN signaling pathways are not well understood, although it is known that aside from interacting with integrins, OPN can interact with CD44 receptor at the cell surface.14,15 Although CD44 is a major receptor for hyaluronan (HA), it also acts as a receptor for OPN and has multiple RGD binding sites. All human isoforms of the CD44 family of adhesion molecules are encoded by a single gene. Alternate splicing of 12 of the 19 exons in the human CD44 gene leads to the production of multiple variant isoforms18,17 and such structural heterogeneity is responsible of the ligand repertoire of CD44, which includes fibronectin18, chondroitin sulphate19, osteopontin20, at least two heparin binding growth hormones and hyaluronan.21,22 Soluble variant isoforms of sCD44 (sCD44var) have been associated with several pathological conditions.16,18,23,24 It has been proposed that sCD44 isoforms are either generated through proteolytic cleavage of cell surface CD44 or by de novo synthesis due to alternative splicing. Functional diversity among CD44 molecules, unrelated to variant exon usage, is demonstrated by observations that CD44H, or any particular splice-variant, can be active for hyaluronan (HA) binding when expressed in some cell types but inactive in others. Many CD44 isoforms are tissue specific, but the full range of soluble variant isoform(s) of sCD44 has been associated with some pathological conditions. Indeed, circulating levels of total sCD44 and specific soluble CD44 isoforms have been shown to correlate with tumor metastasis in some malignancies, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast, gastric, and colon carcinomas. The level of soluble CD44 is also known to be higher in the body fluids of subjects with particular inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, pouchitis and colitis, and bronchitis. Hyaluronan (HA), also called hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid, is a mucopolysaccharide widely distributed throughout the body and produced by a variety of cells including fibroblasts and other specialized connective tissue cells.

As used herein the term “subject” is meant to refer to any mammal including human, mice, rat, dog, cat, pig, monkey, horse, etc. In a particular embodiment, it refers to a human.

As used herein the term “brace” is meant to include dental and orthopedic brace and “bracing” thus refers to the action of placing the braces on the subject. In a specific embodiment, it is meant to refer to braces for scoliotic subjects.

As used herein the terminology “spinal disorders and disorders causing scoliosis” refers to disorders that may involve development of a scoliosis. Without so limited, it includes AIS, congenital scoliosis, congenital cyphose scoliosis, neurological scoliosis, dysplasic scoliosis, neurofibromatosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies, neuromuscular scoliosis, spondylolesthesis and Noonan syndrome. Scoliosis that may be stratified or predicted excludes those caused by an accident and certain congenital malformations.

As used herein the terms “likely candidate for developing adolescent idiopathic scoliosis” include children of which a least one parent has adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Among other factors, age (adolescence), gender and heredity (i.e. born from a mother or father having a scoliosis) are factors that are known to contribute to the risk of developing a scoliosis and are used to a certain degree to assess the risk of developing AIS. In certain subjects, scoliosis develops rapidly over a short period of time to the point of requiring a corrective surgery. Current courses of action available from the moment AIS is diagnosed (when scoliosis is apparent) include observation (when Cobb's angle is around 10-25°), orthopaedic devices (when Cobb's angle is around 25-30°), and surgery (over 45°). The more reliable methods of determining the risk of progression and of monitoring treatment efficiency in accordance of the present invention may assist in 1) selecting an appropriate diet to remove certain food products identified as contributors to scoliosis; 2) selecting the best therapeutic agent; 3) selecting the least invasive preventive action and/or available treatment such as postural exercises, orthopaedic device, and/or less invasive surgeries or surgeries without fusions (a surgery that does not fuse vertebra and preserves column mobility).

As used herein, the terms “severe AIS” refers to a scoliosis characterized by Cobb's angle of 45° or more.

As used herein the terms “risk of developing scoliosis” refer to a genetic or metabolic predisposition of a subject to develop a scoliosis (i.e. spinal deformity) and/or to develop a more severe scoliosis at a future time. For instance, an increase of the Cobb's angle of a subject (e.g. from 40° to 50°, or from 18° to 25°) is a “development” of scoliosis.

As used herein the terminology “biological sample” refers to any solid or liquid sample isolated from a living being. In a particular embodiment, it refers to any solid or liquid sample isolated from a human. Without being so limited it includes a biopsy material, blood, tears (48), saliva, maternal milk, synovial fluid, urine, ear fluid, amniotic fluid and cerebrospinal fluid. In a specific embodiment it refers to a blood sample.

As used herein the terminology “blood sample” is meant to refer to blood, plasma or serum. In a preferred embodiment, plasma is used. In a more specific embodiment it refers to a plasma sample.

As used herein the terminology “control sample” is meant to refer to a sample that does not come from a subject known to have scoliosis or known to be a likely candidate for developing a scoliosis. In methods for determining the risk of developing scoliosis in a subject that is pre-diagnosed with scoliosis, the sample may however also come from the subject under scrutiny at an earlier stage of the disease or disorder.

As used herein the term “treating” or “treatment” in reference to scoliosis is meant to refer to at least one of a reduction of Cobb's angle in a preexisting spinal deformity, improvement of column mobility, preservation/maintenance of column mobility, improvement of equilibrium and balance in a specific plan; maintenance/preservation of equilibrium and balance in a specific plan; improvement of functionality in a specific plan, preservation/maintenance of functionality in a specific plan, cosmetic improvement, and combination of any of the above.

As used herein the term “preventing” or “prevention” in reference to scoliosis is meant to refer to a at least one of a reduction in the progression of a Cobb's angle in a patient having a scoliosis or in an asymptomatic patient, a complete prevention of apparition of a spinal deformity, including changes affecting the rib cage and pelvis in 3D, and a combination of any of the above.

As used herein the term “osteopontin inhibitor” refers to an agent able to reduce or block expression (transcription or translation) of OPN (gene called sspi1), an agent able to reduce or block OPN secretion or an agent able to reduce or block OPN binding to its receptor CD44. Without being so limited, the agent can be natural or synthetic and can be a protein such as but not limited to an antibody that specifically binds to OPN, a peptide, a small molecule, a nucleotide such as but not limited to an antisense or a siRNA specific to OPN.

As used herein the term “CD44 inhibitor” refers to an agent able to reduce expression (transcription or translation) of CD44, or an agent able to reduce CD44 localization at the cellular membrane. Without being so limited, the agent can be natural or synthetic and can be a protein such as but not limited to an antibody that specifically binds to CD44, a peptide, a small molecule, a nucleotide such as but not limited to an antisense or a siRNA specific to CD44.

As used herein the term “sCD44 stimulator” refers to an agent able to increase expression (transcription or translation) of sCD44, an agent able to increase sCD44 secretion or an agent able to increase sCD44 affinity toward OPN. Without being so limited, the agent can be a protein, a peptide, a small molecule or a nucleotide.

The articles “a,” “an” and “the” are used herein to refer to one or to more than one (i.e., to at least one) of the grammatical object of the article.

The term “including” and “comprising” are used herein to mean, and re used interchangeably with, the phrases “including but not limited to” and “comprising but not limited to”.

The terms “such as” are used herein to mean, and is used interchangeably with, the phrase “such as but not limited to”.

The present invention also relates to methods for the determination of the level of expression (i.e. transcript or translation product) of OPN, HA or sCD44. The present invention therefore encompasses any known method for such determination including Elisa (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay), RIA (Radioimmunoassay), real time PCR and competitive PCR, Northern blots, nuclease protection, plaque hybridization and slot blots.

The present invention also concerns isolated nucleic acid molecules including probes and primers to detect OPN, sCD44 or CD44. In specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have no more than 300, or no more than 200, or no more than 100, or no more than 90, or no more than 80, or no more than 70, or no more than 60, or no more than 50, or no more than 40 or no more than 30 nucleotides. In specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 17, or at least 18, or at least 19, or at least 20, or at least 30, or at least 40 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 20 and no more than 300 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 20 and no more than 200 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 20 and no more than 100 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 20 and no more than 90 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 20 and no more than 80 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 20 and no more than 70 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 20 and no more than 60 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 20 and no more than 50 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 20 and no more than 40 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 17 and no more than 40 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 20 and no more than 30 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 17 and no more than 30 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 30 and no more than 300 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 30 and no more than 200 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 30 and no more than 100 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 30 and no more than 90 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 30 and no more than 80 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 30 and no more than 70 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 30 and no more than 60 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 30 and no more than 50 nucleotides. In other specific embodiments, the isolated nucleic acid molecules have at least 30 and no more than 40 nucleotides. It should be understood that in real-time PCR, primers also constitute probe without the traditional meaning of this term. Primers or probes appropriate to detect OPN sCD44 and CD44 in the methods of the present invention can be designed with known methods using sequences distributed across their respective nucleotide sequence (49).

Probes of the invention can be utilized with naturally occurring sugar-phosphate backbones as well as modified backbones including phosphorothioates, dithionates, alkyl phosphonates and α-nucleotides and the like. Modified sugar-phosphate backbones are generally known. Probes of the invention can be constructed of either ribonucleic acid (RNA) or deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and preferably of DNA.

The types of detection methods in which probes can be used include Southern blots (DNA detection), dot or slot blots (DNA, RNA), and Northern blots (RNA detection). Although less preferred, labeled proteins could also be used to detect a particular nucleic acid sequence to which it binds. Other detection methods include kits containing probes on a dipstick setup and the like.

As used herein the terms “detectably labeled” refer to a marking of a probe or an antibody in accordance with the presence invention that will allow the detection of OPN, HA and/or sCD44 in accordance with the present invention. Although the present invention is not specifically dependent on the use of a label for the detection of a particular nucleic acid sequence, such a label might be beneficial, by increasing the sensitivity of the detection. Furthermore, it enables automation. Probes can be labeled according to numerous well known methods. Non-limiting examples of labels include 3H, 14C, 32P, and 35S, Non-limiting examples of detectable markers include ligands, fluorophores, chemiluminescent agents, enzymes, and antibodies. Other detectable markers for use with probes, which can enable an increase in sensitivity of the method of the invention, include biotin and radionucleotides. It will become evident to the person of ordinary skill that the choice of a particular label dictates the manner in which it is bound to the probe.

As commonly known, radioactive nucleotides can be incorporated into probes of the invention by several methods. Non-limiting examples thereof include kinasing the 5′ ends of the probes using gamma 32P ATP and polynucleotide kinase, using the Klenow fragment of Pol I of E. coli in the presence of radioactive dNTP (e.g. uniformly labeled DNA probe using random oligonucleotide primers in low-melt gels), using the SP6/T7 system to transcribe a DNA segment in the presence of one or more radioactive NTP, and the like.

The present invention also relates to methods of selecting compounds. As used herein the term “compound” is meant to encompass natural, synthetic or semi-synthetic compounds, including without being so limited chemicals, macromolecules, cell or tissue extracts (from plants or animals), nucleic acid molecules, peptides, antibodies and proteins.

The present invention also relates to arrays. As used herein, an “array” is an intentionally created collection of molecules which can be prepared either synthetically or biosynthetically. The molecules in the array can be identical or different from each other. The array can assume a variety of formats, e.g., libraries of soluble molecules; libraries of compounds tethered to resin beads, silica chips, or other solid supports.

As used herein “array of nucleic acid molecules” is an intentionally created collection of nucleic acids which can be prepared either synthetically or biosynthetically in a variety of different formats (e.g., libraries of soluble molecules; and libraries of oligonucleotides tethered to resin beads, silica chips, or other solid supports). Additionally, the term “array” is meant to include those libraries of nucleic acids which can be prepared by spotting nucleic acids of essentially any length (e.g., from 1 to about 1000 nucleotide monomers in length) onto a substrate. The term “nucleic acid” as used herein refers to a polymeric form of nucleotides of any length, either ribonucleotides, deoxyribonucleotides or peptide nucleic acids (PNAs), that comprise purine and pyrimidine bases, or other natural, chemically or biochemically modified, non-natural, or derivatized nucleotide bases. The backbone of the polynucleotide can comprise sugars and phosphate groups, as may typically be found in RNA or DNA, or modified or substituted sugar or phosphate groups. A polynucleotide may comprise modified nucleotides, such as methylated nucleotides and nucleotide analogs. The sequence of nucleotides may be interrupted by non-nucleotide components. Thus the terms nucleoside, nucleotide, deoxynucleoside and deoxynucleotide generally include analogs such as those described herein. These analogs are those molecules having some structural features in common with a naturally occurring nucleoside or nucleotide such that when incorporated into a nucleic acid or oligonucleotide sequence, they allow hybridization with a naturally occurring nucleic acid sequence in solution. Typically, these analogs are derived from naturally occurring nucleosides and nucleotides by replacing and/or modifying the base, the ribose or the phosphodiester moiety. The changes can be tailor made to stabilize or destabilize hybrid formation or enhance the specificity of hybridization with a complementary nucleic acid sequence as desired.

As used herein “solid support”, “support”, and “substrate” are used interchangeably and refer to a material or group of materials having a rigid or semi-rigid surface or surfaces. In many embodiments, at least one surface of the solid support will be substantially flat, although in some embodiments it may be desirable to physically separate synthesis regions for different compounds with, for example, wells, raised regions, pins, etched trenches, or the like. According to other embodiments, the solid support(s) will take the form of beads, resins, gels, microspheres, or other geometric configurations.

Any known nucleic acid arrays can be used in accordance with the present invention. For instance, such arrays include those based on short or longer oligonucleotide probes as well as cDNAs or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products. Other methods include serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), differential display, as well as subtractive hybridization methods, differential screening (DS), RNA arbitrarily primer (RAP)-PCR, restriction endonucleolytic analysis of differentially expressed sequences (READS), amplified restriction fragment-length polymorphisms (AFLP).

Antibodies

The present invention encompasses using antibodies for detecting or determining OPN, sCD44 or CD44 levels for instance in the samples of a subject and for including in kits of the present invention. Antibodies that specifically bind to these biological markers can be produced routinely with methods further described below. The present invention also encompasses using antibodies commercially available. Without being so limited antibodies that specifically bind to OPN include those listed in Table 1 below.

TABLE 1
commercially available human OPN Elisa kits.
Catalogue
CompanyKit namenumberSensitivity
IBL HambourgHuman Osteopontin ELISAJP 171 583.33ng/ml
IBL AmericaHuman Osteopontin N-Half272583.90pmol/L
Assay Kit-IBL
IBL-AmericaHuman Osteopontin Assay271583.33ng/ml
Kit-IBL
Assay designsOsteopontin (human) EIA Kit900-1420.11ng/ml
American ResearchOsteopontin, human kit17158?
Products, Inc.
R&D SystemsHuman Osteopontin (OPN)DOST000.024ng/mL
ELISA Kit
PromokineHuman Osteopontin ELISAPK-EL-KA42313.6ng/ml
UscnlifeHuman Osteopontin, OPNE0899h?
ELISA Kit

Both monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies directed to OPN are included within the scope of this invention as they can be produced by well established procedures known to those of skill in the art. Additionally, any secondary antibodies, either monoclonal or polyclonal, directed to the first antibodies would also be included within the scope of this invention.

As used herein, the term “anti-OPN antibody” or “immunologically specific anti-OPN antibody” refers to an antibody that specifically binds to (interacts with) an OPN protein and displays no substantial binding to other naturally occurring proteins other than the ones sharing the same antigenic determinants as the OPN protein. The term antibody or immunoglobulin is used in the broadest sense, and covers monoclonal antibodies (including full length monoclonal antibodies), polyclonal antibodies, multispecific antibodies, and antibody fragments so long as they exhibit the desired biological activity. Antibody fragments comprise a portion of a full length antibody, generally an antigen binding or variable region thereof. Examples of antibody fragments include Fab, Fab′, F(ab′)2, and Fv fragments, diabodies, linear antibodies, single-chain antibody molecules, single domain antibodies (e.g., from camelids), shark NAR single domain antibodies, and multispecific antibodies formed from antibody fragments. Antibody fragments can also refer to binding moieties comprising CDRs or antigen binding domains including, but not limited to, VH regions (VH, VH-VH), anticalins, PepBodies™, antibody-T-cell epitope fusions (Troybodies) or Peptibodies. Additionally, any secondary antibodies, either monoclonal or polyclonal, directed to the first antibodies would also be included within the scope of this invention.

In general, techniques for preparing antibodies (including monoclonal antibodies and hybridomas) and for detecting antigens using antibodies are well known in the art (Campbell, 1984, In “Monoclonal Antibody Technology: Laboratory Techniques in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology”, Elsevier Science Publisher, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and in Harlow et al., 1988 (in: Antibody A Laboratory Manual, CSH Laboratories). The term antibody encompasses herein polyclonal, monoclonal antibodies and antibody variants such as single-chain antibodies, humanized antibodies, chimeric antibodies and immunologically active fragments of antibodies (e.g. Fab and Fab′ fragments) which inhibit or neutralize their respective interaction domains in Hyphen and/or are specific thereto.

Polyclonal antibodies are preferably raised in animals by multiple subcutaneous (sc), intravenous (iv) or intraperitoneal (ip) injections of the relevant antigen with or without an adjuvant. It may be useful to conjugate the relevant antigen to a protein that is immunogenic in the species to be immunized, e.g., keyhole limpet hemocyanin, serum albumin, bovine thyroglobulin, or soybean trypsin inhibitor using a bifunctional or derivatizing agent, for example, maleimidobenzoyl sulfosuccinimide ester (conjugation through cysteine residues), N-hydroxysuccinimide (through lysine residues), glutaraldehyde, succinic anhydride, SOCl2, or R1N═C═NR, where R and R1 are different alkyl groups.

Animals may be immunized against the antigen, immunogenic conjugates, or derivatives by combining the antigen or conjugate (e.g., 100 μg for rabbits or 5 μg for mice) with 3 volumes of Freund's complete adjuvant and injecting the solution intradermally at multiple sites. One month later the animals are boosted with the antigen or conjugate (e.g., with ⅕ to 1/10 of the original amount used to immunize) in Freund's complete adjuvant by subcutaneous injection at multiple sites. Seven to 14 days later the animals are bled and the serum is assayed for antibody titer. Animals are boosted until the titer plateaus. Preferably, for conjugate immunizations, the animal is boosted with the conjugate of the same antigen, but conjugated to a different protein and/or through a different cross-linking reagent. Conjugates also can be made in recombinant cell culture as protein fusions. Also, aggregating agents such as alum are suitably used to enhance the immune response.

Monoclonal antibodies may be made using the hybridoma method first described by Kohler et al., Nature, 256: 495 (1975), or may be made by recombinant DNA methods (e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 6,204,023). Monoclonal antibodies may also be made using the techniques described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,025,155 and 6,077,677 as well as U.S. Patent Application Publication Nos. 2002/0160970 and 2003/0083293 (see also, e.g., Lindenbaum et al., 2004).

In the hybridoma method, a mouse or other appropriate host animal, such as a rat, hamster or monkey, is immunized (e.g., as hereinabove described) to elicit lymphocytes that produce or are capable of producing antibodies that will specifically bind to the antigen used for immunization. Alternatively, lymphocytes may be immunized in vitro. Lymphocytes then are fused with myeloma cells using a suitable fusing agent, such as polyethylene glycol, to form a hybridoma cell.

The hybridoma cells thus prepared are seeded and grown in a suitable culture medium that preferably contains one or more substances that inhibit the growth or survival of the unfused, parental myeloma cells. For example, if the parental myeloma cells lack the enzyme hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT or HPRT), the culture medium for the hybridomas typically will include hypoxanthine, aminopterin, and thymidine (HAT medium), which substances prevent the growth of HGPRT-deficient cells.

As used herein, the term “purified” in the expression “purified antibody” is simply meant to distinguish man-made antibody from an antibody that may naturally be produced by an animal against its own antigens. Hence, raw serum and hybridoma culture medium containing anti-OPN antibody are “purified antibodies” within the meaning of the present invention.

The present invention also encompasses arrays to detect and/or quantify the translation products of OPN, HA or sCD44. Such arrays include protein micro- or macroarrays, gel technologies including high-resolution 2D-gel methodologies, possibly coupled with mass spectrometry imaging system at the cellular level such as microscopy combined with a fluorescent labeling system.

The present invention also encompasses methods for identifying specific mutation(s) directly or indirectly affecting the transcription, translation, post-translational modification or activity of OPN. Without being so limited, mutations of interest include any mutation affecting the interactions between OPN and any soluble or non soluble isoform of CD44 or the binding of HA to any soluble or non soluble isoform of CD44.

The present invention also encompasses the monitoring of the biomarkers disclosed herein to assess the efficacy of numerous approaches to prevent scoliosis and curve progression such as any physical therapies (e.g. postural exercises, physiotherapies, biomechanical stimulations by manipulation or using specific devices e.g. vibrant plates); the monitoring of bracing efficacy or development of novel braces; the monitoring of new surgical devices with or without fusion of vertebras, and the monitoring of the efficacy of specific diet, nutraceutical and/or pharmacological treatments. Without being so limited, the first measure after the braces have been applied could be performed 1 month later to determine for instance whether the braces are well adjusted and determine whether the patient is compliant to the treatment. Thereafter, the monitoring could be performed every three to six months depending on whether high OPN levels are detected or not. This method of the present invention may advantageously reduces the requirement for x-rays. X-rays could be performed for instance only at visits where OPN levels detected are too high.

The present invention also encompasses the monitoring of the biomarkers disclosed herein identify patients having a risk of progression for early bracing or for less-invasive surgeries with novel fusionless devices, for pharmacological treatments and to monitor responses to treatment in patients with AIS. Of note, fusionless devices are particularly useful for patients still possessing a growth potential so that identification of the risk of developing a scoliosis as early as possible in the life of the subject is beneficial. In a specific embodiment, monitoring begins when the subject is about 5 years old or less in subjects having a scoliosis family antecedent/history. The frequency of the testing could typically be every six months. In case where OPN values are above the cut-off value (i.e. >800 ng/ml when the OPN IBL ELISA kit code No. 27158 is used), the frequency would be advantageously significantly increased (e.g. every month, every two months, every three months . . . ).

The present invention also encompasses methods to screen/select for potential useful therapeutic agents using whole cells assays, the therapeutic compound being able to repress the transcription and/or synthesis of OPN (encoded by ssp1 gene), and/or able to increase the production of sCD44 which could sequester circulating OPN, and/or able to interfere with OPN liaison with the CD44 receptor, and/or able to block CD44 receptor. Cells for use in such methods includes cells of any source (including in house or commercially available cell lines) and type (any tissue). In house cell lines could be made for instance by immortalizing cells from AIS subjects. In specific embodiments, methods of screening of the invention seek to identify agents that inhibit OPN expression (transcription and/or translation) and agents that increase sCD44 expression (transcription and/or translation). Useful cell lines for these embodiments include those producing high levels of OPN and/or low levels of sCD44. Such useful cell lines are described in references 43-56.

In a particular embodiment, it includes cells of any cell type derived from a scoliotic patient. (whole cell assay). In specific embodiments, it includes osteoblasts, chondrocytes, myoblasts or blood cells including lymphocytes. As used herein, the term “cell derived from a scoliotic patient” refers to cells isolated directly from scoliotic patients, or immortalized cell lines originating from cells isolated directly from scoliotic patients. In specific embodiments, the cells are paraspinal muscle cells. Such cells may be isolated by a subject through needle biopsies for instance.

Pharmaceutical compositions can also be administered by routes such as nasally, intravenously, intramuscularly, subcutaneously, sublingually, intrathecally, or intradermally. The route of administration can depend on a variety of factors, such as the environment and therapeutic goals.

Dosage

Any amount of a pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical and/or dietary supplement compositions can be administered to a subject. The dosages will depend on many factors including the mode of administration. Typically, the amount of anti-scoliosis composition (e.g. osteopontin inhibitor or selenium compound) contained within a single dose will be an amount that effectively prevents, delays or reduces scoliosis without inducing significant toxicity “therapeutically effective amount”.

In some embodiments, the therapeutically effective amount of the neutraceutical anti-scoliosis composition (e.g. selenium supplement) can be altered. Useful effective amount concentrations include amounts ranging from about 0.01% to about 10% of a total diet on a weight by weight basis, from about 1% to about 6% of a total diet on a weight by weight basis, or from about 02% to about 6% of a total diet on a weight by weight basis.

The effective amount of the osteopontin inhibitor or selenium compound may also be measured directly. The effective amount may be given daily or weekly or fractions thereof. Typically, a pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical and/or dietary supplement composition of the invention can be administered in an amount from about 0.001 mg up to about 500 mg per kg of body weight per day (e.g., 10 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, or 250 mg). Dosages may be provided in either a single or multiple dosage regimen. For example, in some embodiments the effective amount is a dose that ranges from about 1 mg to about 25 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation per day, about 50 mg to about 10 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation per day, from about 100 mg to about 5 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation per day, about 1 gram of the anti-scoliose preparation per day, about 1 mg to about 25 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation per week, about 50 mg to about 10 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation per week, about 100 mg to about 5 grams of the anti-scoliose preparation every other day, and about 1 gram of the anti-scoliose preparation once a week.

By way of example, a pharmaceutical (e.g. containing an osteopontin inhibitor) and/or nutraceutical (e.g. containing selenium) and/or dietary supplement (e.g. containing selenium) composition of the invention can be in the form of a liquid, solution, suspension, pill, capsule, tablet, gelcap, powder, gel, ointment, cream, nebulae, mist, atomized vapor, aerosol, or phytosome. For oral administration, tablets or capsules can be prepared by conventional means with at least one pharmaceutically acceptable excipient such as binding agents, fillers, lubricants, disintegrants, or wetting agents. The tablets can be coated by methods known in the art. Liquid preparations for oral administration can take the form of, for example, solutions, syrups, or suspension, or they can be presented as a dry product for constitution with saline or other suitable liquid vehicle before use. Dietary supplements of the invention also can contain pharmaceutically acceptable additives such as suspending agents, emulsifying agents, non-aqueous vehicles, preservatives, buffer salts, flavoring, coloring, and sweetening agents as appropriate. Preparations for oral administration also can be suitably formulated to give controlled release of the active ingredients.

In addition, a pharmaceutical (e.g. containing an osteopontin inhibitor) and/or nutraceutical (e.g. containing selenium) and/or dietary supplement (e.g. containing selenium) composition of the invention can contain a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier for administration to a mammal, including, without limitation, sterile aqueous or non-aqueous solutions, suspensions, and emulsions. Examples of non-aqueous solvents include, without limitation, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, vegetable oils, and injectable organic esters. Aqueous carriers include, without limitation, water, alcohol, saline, and buffered solutions. Pharmaceutically acceptable carriers also can include physiologically acceptable aqueous vehicles (e.g., physiological saline) or other known carriers appropriate to specific routes of administration.

An osteopontin inhibitor or selenium may be incorporated into dosage forms in conjunction with any of the vehicles which are commonly employed in pharmaceutical preparations, e.g. talc, gum arabic, lactose, starch, magnesium searate, cocoa butter, aqueous or non-aqueous solvents, oils, paraffin derivatives or glycols. Emulsions such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,434,183, may also be used in which vegetable oil (e.g., soybean oil or safflower oil), emulsifying agent (e.g., egg yolk phospholipid) and water are combined with glycerol. Methods for preparing appropriate formulations are well known in the art (see e.g., Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences, 16th Ed., 1980, A. Oslo Ed., Easton, Pa.).

In cases where parenteral administration is elected as the route of administration, preparations containing osteopontin inhibitor or selenium may be provided to patients in combination with pharmaceutically acceptable sterile aqueous or non-aqueous solvents, suspensions or emulsions. Examples of non-aqueous solvents are propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, vegetable oil, fish oil, and injectable organic esters. Aqueous carriers include water, water-alcohol solutions, emulsions or suspensions, including saline and buffered medical parenteral vehicles including sodium chloride solution, Ringer's dextrose solution, dextrose plus sodium chloride solution, Ringer's solution containing lactose, or fixed oils. Intravenous vehicles may include fluid and nutrient replenishers, electrolyte replenishers, such as those based upon Ringer's dextrose, and the like.

These are simply guidelines since the actual dose must be carefully selected and titrated by the attending physician based upon clinical factors unique to each patient or by a nutritionist. The optimal daily dose will be determined by methods known in the art and will be influenced by factors such as the age of the patient and other clinically relevant factors. In addition, patients may be taking medications for other diseases or conditions. The other medications may be continued during the time that the osteopontin inhibitor or selenium compound is given to the patient, but it is particularly advisable in such cases to begin with low doses to determine if adverse side effects are experienced.

The present invention also relates to kits. Without being so limited, it relates to kits for stratifying scoliotic subjects and/or predicting whether a subject is at risk of developing a scoliosis comprising an isolated nucleic acid, a protein or a ligand such as an antibody in accordance with the present invention as described above. For example, a compartmentalized kit in accordance with the present invention includes any kit in which reagents are contained in separate containers. Such containers include small glass containers, plastic containers or strips of plastic or paper. Such containers allow the efficient transfer of reagents from one compartment to another compartment such that the samples and reagents are not cross-contaminated and the agents or solutions of each container can be added in a quantitative fashion from one compartment to another. Such containers will include a container which will accept the subject sample (DNA genomic nucleic acid, cell sample or blood samples), a container which contains in some kits of the present invention, the probes used in the methods of the present invention, containers which contain enzymes, containers which contain wash reagents, and containers which contain the reagents used to detect the extension products. Kits of the present invention may also contain instructions to use these probes and or antibodies to stratify scoliotic subjects or predict whether a subject is at risk of developing a scoliosis.

The present invention is illustrated in further details by the following non-limiting examples.

EXAMPLE 1

Material and Methods

GENERATION OF BIPEDAL C57BL/6J OPN-NULL AND CD44-NULL MICE. Experiments in mice were conducted according to protocols approved by The Step-Justine Hospital's Animal Health Care Review Committee. Breeding pairs of C57BI/6 devoid of either OPN(OPN-null mice) or CD44 receptor (CD44-null mice) backcrossed for more than 10 generations in C57BI/6j mice were graciously obtained from Dr. Susan Rittling, (Rutger University, NJ, USA) and Dr. Tak Mak (University of Toronto, ON, Canada), respectively, to establish new colonies, while C57BI/6j mice served as wild-type control mice (Charles-River, Wilmington, Mass., USA). The C57BI6/6j mouse strain was used because it is naturally deficient in melatonin(26), exhibits high circulating OPN levels(27) and develops scoliosis when they are maintained in a bipedal state.(28) It is a well known scoliosis animal model. Bipedal surgeries were performed after weaning by amputation of the forelimbs and tail under anesthesia as reported previously.(28) All mice underwent complete radiographic examination under anesthesia using a Faxitron™ X-rays apparatus (Faxitron X-rays Corp. Wheeling, Ill., USA) every two weeks starting at the age of six weeks. Anteroposterior X-rays were taken and each digital image was evaluated subsequently for the presence of scoliosis. Cobb's angle threshold value of 10° or higher was retained as a significant scoliotic condition.

IMMUNODETECTION OF MOUSE OPN Mouse serum was obtained from peripheral blood samples for the determination of serum levels of OPN and were collected in serum separator tubes containing silica gel (BD Microtainer, BD New Jersey, USA) and then centrifuged. Derived serum samples were aliquoted and kept frozen at −80° C. until thawed and analyzed. Serum concentrations of OPN were measured by capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) according to the protocol provided by the manufacturer (IBL, Hamburg, Germany). The OPN ELISA kit measured total concentration of both phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated of all isoforms of OPN in serum. ELISA tests were performed in duplicate and the optical density was measured at 450 nm using an AsysHiTech™ Expert-96 microplate reader (Biochrom, Cambridge, UK). Although serum was used in mice herein, the present invention also encompasses measuring OPN in mice plasma.

GENERATION OF PINEALECTOMIZED CHICKENS. A percentage of pinealectomized chickens develop a scoliosis and they are thus used as a scoliosis model. For this study, 145 newly hatched chickens (Mountain Hubbard) were purchased at a local hatchery and pinealectomy were performed as previously described(25).

EXPRESSION ANALYSIS AND IMMUNODETECTION OF CHICKEN OPN. Total cellular RNA was prepared from paraspinal muscles of pinealectomized chickens by phenol/chloroform extraction. For RT-PCR, 1 microgramme total RNA was reversed transcribed using ThermoScript™ reverse transcriptase (Invitrogen), and the equivalent of 0.1 microgramme of reverse-transcribed RNA used for PCR reactions. These were carried out in a final volume of 50 microliters containing 200 micromolars dNTPs, 1.5 millimolars MgCl2, 10 picomolars each primer, and 1U Pfu DNA-polymerase (Stratagene, LaJolla, Calif., USA). PCR reactions were performed using the following primers and conditions: chicken OPN (420 by PCR product): 5′-ACACTTTCACTCCAATCGTCC-3′ (SEQ ID NO: 19)(forward), 5′-TGCCCTTTCCGTTGTTGTCC-3′ (SEQ ID NO: 20) (reverse) 35 cycles: 95° C./45 seconds, 66° C./45 seconds, 72° C./1 minute. For quantitative analysis, all amplifications were normalized against that of the housekeeping gene β-actin; chicken β-actin (460 by PCR product) 5′-GGAAATCGTGCGTGACAT-3′ (SEQ ID NO: 21) (forward), 5′-TCATGATGGAGTTGAATGTAGTT-3′ (SEQ ID NO: 22) (reverse) 32 cycles: 94° C./45 seconds, 55° C./45 seconds, 72° C./1 minute. PCR amplified products were analyzed on 1.5% agarose gel containing ethidium bromide. Total protein extracts of paraspinal muscles were used to detect chicken OPN by Western blot using anti-human OPN antibodies cross-reacting with chicken OPN (clone 8E5, Kamiya Biomedial, WA, USA).

HUMAN POPULATIONS The institutional review boards of The Sainte-Justine Hospital, The Montreal Children's Hospital, The Shriners Hospital for Children in Montreal, McGill University and The Affluent School Board, approved the study. Parents or legal guardians of all participants gave written informed consent, and minors gave their assent.

All patients with AIS were examined by one of six orthopedic surgeons. A person was deemed to be affected if history and physical examination were consistent with the diagnosis of idiopathic scoliosis and a minimum of a ten degree curvature in the coronal plane with vertebral rotation was found on a standing radiograph of the spine. Healthy controls were recruited in elementary schools of Montreal. Each subject was examined by the same orthopedic surgeon using Adam's forward bending-test with a scoliometer.

Three populations were investigated: patients with AIS, healthy controls without any family antecedent/history for scoliosis and asymptomatic offspring, born from at least one scoliotic parent, who are considered as at risk of developing a scoliosis. A group of 252 consecutive patients with AIS, 35 healthy control subjects and 70 asymptomatic children at risk of developing a scoliosis were recruited. All subjects were Caucasians and demographic characteristics are shown in Table 2 below).

TABLE 2
Demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with AIS, healthy control and at risk control subjects.
Subject Type
HealthyAt Risk
AISControl SubjectsControl Subjects
CharacteristicsFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMale
Number2153719164525
Mean Age (Years)14.1 ± 2.114.8 ± 2.210.6 ± 0.610.9 ± 0.69.8 ± 3.710.0 ± 2.9
Patient percentage & Mean Cobb's Angle
Thoracolumbar35.8%22.5 ± 15.229.7%28.3 ± 22.8
Thoracic20.5%39.7 ± 20.429.7%34.1 ± 22.3
Double Scoliosis30.2%24.3%
(Thoracic + Lumbar)
Thoracic Curvature34.8 ± 19.038.9 ± 21.2
Lumbar Curvature31.0 ± 17.333.0 ± 18.7
Lumbar 4.7%25.4 ± 10.7 8.1%20.3 ± 3.5 
Double Scoliosis 6.0% 5.4%
(Thoracic + Thoracolumbar)
Thoracic Curvature25.4 ± 13.536.0 ± 19.8
Lumbar Curvature25.2 ± 15.541.0 ± 29.7
Triple Scoliosis 1.9%36.8 ± 18.5 2.7%8.0
41.0 ± 14.311.0
30.5 ± 7.7 11.0
Double Scoliosis 0.9%
(Thoracic + Thoracic)
29.0 ± 5.7 
16.5 ± 3.5 
Heredity36.3%37.8%0.0%0.0%100.0%100.0%
*Plus-minus values are means ± standard deviations.
†Mean Cobb's Angles for double scoliosis are represented by the curvatures on the thoracic and lumbar levels separately.
‡Mean Cobb's Angle for the triple scoliosis represents two thoracic curvatures and one lumbar curvature.

OSTEOPONTIN, SCD44 AND HA ENZYME-LINKED IMMUNOSORBENT ASSAYS Peripheral blood samples for AIS patients, asymptomatic children and control groups were collected in EDTA-containing tubes and then centrifuged. Derived plasma samples were aliquoted and kept frozen at −80° C. until thawed and analyzed. Plasma concentrations of OPN and sCD44 were measured by capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) according to protocols provided by the manufacturer (IBL, Hamburg, Germany). The sCD44 Elisa kit (sCD44std) measured all circulating (soluble) CD44 isoforms comprising the standard protein sequences but not the rare isoforms associated with alternative splicing between exons V2 and V10 (50) (see also FIG. 22). The OPN IBL ELISA kit (code No. 27158) measures total concentration of both phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated of all isoforms of OPN in plasma. Circulating levels of HA were measured in all plasma samples using an ELISA kit (HA-Elisa (K-1200), Echelon Biosciences, Salt Lake City, Utah). All ELISA tests were performed in duplicate and the optical density was measured at 450 nm (for OPN and sCD44) and 405 nm (for HA) using an AsysHiTech Expert-96™ microplate reader (Biochrom, Cambridge, UK). Other Elisa kits available commercially or house made can be used in methods of the present invention. The cut-off value that statistically distinguishes non scoliotic subjects from scoliotic subjects that will help predict the risk of scoliosis progression as determined with these other kits will likely differ from that calculated with the kit used herein. It may however be calculated for each new antibody used as described herein.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS Age and gender differences among the different AIS and control groups were assessed using Pearson's Chi-square and Student's t tests, respectively. Multiple linear regression models were used to test for association between groups and levels of OPN, sCD44, and HA. Values were adjusted for age, gender, and age-gender interaction when these potential confounders were associated with the biomarker levels at p<0.1. Interactions between group and gender were also investigated. It was first tested for an overall group effect using a global F test comparing models with and without group effects. Were then tested specific differences between groups, applying a Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. Receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) curves were used to evaluate the diagnostic value of OPN, and to identify the optimal threshold values. The sensitivity (proportion of true-positive results when the assay was applied to patients known to have AIS) and specificity (proportion of true-negative results when the assay was applied to healthy controls) of OPN were profiled by curves. The area under ROC curve (AUC) and associated 95% confidence interval were calculated. The test of the hypothesis that the theoretical AUC is 0.5 was based on the confidence interval. Statistical analysis was performed with the SAS software, version 9.1, with the exception of the ROC curve analysis, which was performed with the ROCR package for R (www.r-project.org)(51,52). In all analyses except when otherwise mentioned a p-value<0.05 was considered statistically significant.

EXAMPLE 2

mRNA and Protein OPN Levels Pinealectomized Chicken

Expression analysis and immunodetection analysis of OPN in pinealectomized chicken were performed as described in Example 1 above. OPN at the mRNA and protein levels occurring in pinealectomized chicken were measured. FIG. 1 shows a strong increase of OPN at the mRNA and protein levels only in pinealectomized chicken that developed a scoliosis.

EXAMPLE 3

OPN Protein Levels in C57BI/6j Mice

Bipedal C57BI/6j mice were generated and their OPN level was determined as described in Example 1 above. Bipedal ambulation for 8 weeks in C57BI/6j mice induced scoliosis at a rate of 46 percent in females and 24 percent in males which correlated well with higher plasma OPN levels found in females (Table 3 below). The relevance of this animal model is strengthened by the fact that scoliosis are more frequently seen in number and severity in bipedal C57BI/6j females (46%) when compared to bipedal males (24%) as is also observed in humans.

TABLE 3
Scoliosis frequency in naturally melatonin deficient mouse
strain C57BI/6j mice and genetically modified C57BI mice
devoid of OPN or CD44.
Mean period of
n% of scoliosisfollow-up
C57BI/6j2124%57 weeks +/− 3
2846%57 weeks +/− 3
C57BI/6j300%54 weeks +/− 2
OPN-null240%54 weeks +/− 2
C57BI/6j290%52 weeks +/− 2
CD44-null310%52 weeks +/− 2

FIG. 2 shows that the OPN protein level strongly increases after bipedal surgery (i.e. during scoliosis development) in scoliotic C57BI/6j mice.

EXAMPLE 4

Observation of Effect of Absence of OPN or CD44 Bipedal C57BI/6j Mice on Scoliosis

The contribution of OPN and CD44 receptor as an integral part of the pathophysiology cascade in scoliosis formation and curve progression was also examined by studying genetically modified bipedal C57BI/6j mice by conducting experiments as described in Example 1 above. As shown in Table 3 above, it was found that none of the bipedal C57BI/6j OPN-null (n=54) and C57BI/6j CD44-null mice (n=60) respectively, developed a scoliosis even if their analysis was extended over 52 weeks. Scoliosis development is detected 8 weeks after the surgery. A longer follow-up was performed to demonstrate that scoliosis development was not simply delayed in OPN-null and CD44-null mice.

In parallel, melatonin circulating levels were measured in wild-type and OPN-KO mice to exclude the possibility that absence of scoliosis in bipedal C57BI/6 OPN-KO mice was due to an increased production of melatonin.

FIG. 3 shows a two-fold decrease in circulating melatonin level of bipedal C57BI/6j OPN KO mice when compared to wild-type ones (C57BI/6j, C57BI/6j and FVB).

As indicated above, C57BI/6j mice are melatonin deficient and may develop a scoliosis (S) in contrast to the FVB strain, which produces high melatonin levels. OPN-knockout mice do not develop a scoliosis (NS) even if they are in the same genomic background (C57BI6/j), although melatonin is markedly decreased, suggesting that melatonin negatively regulates OPN expression and synthesis in vivo. Without being bound by this hypothesis, it is also suggested that in absence of OPN in genetically modified mice, the melatonin level will be further decreased accordingly as an adaptive physiological response to enhance OPN expression and synthesis.

EXAMPLE 5

Effect of OPN Inhibitors on Scoliosis Prevention

Two compounds suspected of having an effect on OPN transcription or synthesis were injected intraperitonealy at a dosage of 500 μg/kg of body weight/day to chicken 24-48 h prior pinealectomy.

As is apparent in FIG. 4, fewer pinealectomized chicken pre-treated with the drugs developed scoliosis (a reduction of 50%) than untreated pinealectomized chickens.

EXAMPLE 6

Comparing the Level of Circulating OPN in AIS Patients Classified in Two Groups and Healthy Controls

A group of 252 patients with AIS and 35 healthy control subjects were tested as described in Example 1 above. Patients with AIS were divided into two subgroups according to their spinal curve severity (10°-44° vs. ≧15°) In the most severely affected AIS subgroup, none of the patients had corrective surgery at the time of the tests. Consistent with literature reporting increased AIS prevalence in teenage girls when compared to boys for moderate curves (ratio 10:1 for curve with a Cobb's angle 30°), a greater proportion of girls in the AIS groups (86% and 84% in the 10°-44° and ≧15° subgroups, respectively were observed compared to the control groups (54% and 64% in healthy and at risk control groups, respectively, p≦0.0001 when comparing the control groups). There was no significant gender difference between the two AIS subgroups (p=0.76) or between the two control groups (p=0.32). Mean age was significantly higher in AIS patients with Cobb's angle≧45° compared to those with 10-44° angle (15.2±1.8 vs. 13.8±2.1, p<0.0001). Both AIS groups had higher mean age compared to control groups (10.7±0.6 for the healthy and 9.9±3.4 for the at risk group, p<0.0001 when comparing to either AIS group).

The plasma OPN levels in patients with AIS exhibiting a severe deformity (Cobb's angle≧45°), low to moderate curve (Cobb's angle between 10° and 44°) and healthy controls are summarized in Table 4 below according to various clinical parameters. The mean plasma OPN levels were significantly higher in both AIS groups when compared to healthy control group although plasma OPN levels were more elevated in patients with the most severe deformities (Cobb's angle≧45°) (Bonferroni-corrected p<0.001 after adjustment for age, gender, and age-gender interaction). Plasma OPN levels in AIS patients were correlated with the severity of curve deformity (FIG. 5D) in girls and boys (Partial Pearson correlation coefficient adjusted for age=0.29, p<0.001, and 0.33, p=0.04, respectively). Mean plasma OPN levels in the group at risk of developing scoliosis (846±402 ng/ml) differed significantly (Bonferroni-corrected p<0.001) from the healthy controls (570±156 ng/ml).

TABLE 4
Mean biochemical values of patients with AIS, healthy control subjects and asymptomatic at risk control subjects*.
Female
MeanMaleFemale + Male
biomarkerMeanMean
levelbiomarkerbiomarker
Subject TypeN(ng/ml)RangeNlevel (ng/ml)RangeNlevel (ng/ml)RangeP-value†
OPNHealthy controls19580 ± 150318-882 16 558 ± 168308-856 35570 ± 156308-882 
At risk controls45829 ± 419208-183425 877 ± 378391-162970846 ± 402208-1834<0.001
AIS < 45°162774 ± 268373-158527 948 ± 335445-1668189799 ± 284373-1668<0.001
AIS ≧ 45°53913 ± 398201-1821101238 ± 409575-187263965 ± 414201-1872<0.001
sCD44Healthy controls19522 ± 99 373-829 16575 ± 92404-800 35546 ± 98 373-829 
At risk controls45508 ± 96 316-760 25533 ± 98304-510 70517 ± 97 304-760 >0.5
AIS < 45°162503 ± 161194-125327 527 ± 110364-793 189506 ± 155194-1253>0.5
AIS ≧ 45°53436 ± 25187-88210 402 ± 216147-962 63431 ± 24587-9620.066
HAHealthy controls19128 ± 38 72-23616132 ± 4980-25535130 ± 43 72-255
At risk controls45119 ± 51 36-25725117 ± 5233-22670118 ± 51 33-257>0.5
AIS < 45°162112 ± 60 18-35627124 ± 6027-283189114 ± 60 18-356>0.5
AIS ≧ 45°5393 ± 4032-22210128 ± 71 41-254356398 ± 4832-2540.140
*SD is standard deviation
†P-value is from the comparison with healthy control group in all subjects after Bonferroni correction and adjustment for age, gender, and age-gender interaction (OPN and HA) or age (sCD44). After the same adjustments, overall F test p-values for association between group and biomarker levels were<0.001 (OPN), 0.035 (sCD44), and 0.163 (HA).

Receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) curves analyzes of plasma OPN comparing the patients with AIS more severely affected (Cobb's angle≧45°) with healthy controls showed an AUC of 0.94 with a standard error of 0.03 (95 percent confidence interval 0.88 to 0.99) (see FIG. 5A). A cut-off value>700 nanograms per milliliter gave a sensitivity of 90.6 percent and a specificity of 81.8 percent with (see FIG. 5B). A cut-off value>800 nanograms per milliliter had the highest accuracy with a sensitivity of 84.4 percent and specificity of 90.6 percent for confirming scoliosis (minimal false negative and false positive results) (see FIG. 5C).

Although as indicated above, high levels of OPN are found in other adult diseases, high plasma OPN levels found in patients with scoliosis are unique in the pediatric population. The detection of OPN level can thus be used to identify within asymptomatic children those who are at risk of developing a scoliosis (AIS or other spinal disorders and disorders causing scoliosis) and identify among scoliotic subjects, those or are at risk of experiencing a progression of scoliosis. Moreover, plasma OPN levels found in AIS patients were often higher than those measured in adult diseases. OPN levels can also be used to predict the risk in adults (e.g. degenerative scoliosis and idiopathic scoliosis that progress through adulthood). Certain mutations have already been associated with other disorders that may lead to scoliosis. In a particular embodiment, the OPN levels could be used in combination with the detection of these mutations.

EXAMPLE 7

Comparing the Level of Circulating OPN in Asymptomatic Children at Risk and Healthy Controls

A group of 70 asymptomatic children at risk of developing a scoliosis and 35 healthy control subjects were tested as described in Example 1 above. The mean plasma OPN levels in the group at risk of developing a scoliosis (846.30±402 nanograms per milliliter) differed significantly (p=0.001) from the healthy controls (570±156 nanograms per milliliter) and both groups were age- and gender-matched. No significant gender difference was observed (see Table 4 above).

Using a cut-off value of 800 nanograms per milliliter, it was observed that 47.9 percent of asymptomatic children in that group were above this plasma OPN value while only 8.6 percent of healthy controls were above this value. These results are in agreement with previous reports showing that the offspring of at least one affected parent develops more often a scoliosis than ones born from unaffected parents (34, 35).

An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or RIA for OPN for instance can thus be used for early identification of subjects at risk of developing a scoliosis for purposes of prognosis and/or scoliotic patients stratification for early bracing and less-invasive surgeries with novel fusionless devices, for pharmacological treatments and to monitor responses to treatment in patients with AIS.

EXAMPLE 8

Comparing the Level of Circulating sCD44 in AIS Patients Classified Two Groups and Healthy Controls

Experiments were conducted as described in Example 1 above. The plasma sCD44 and HA levels in healthy controls, both AIS groups and asymptomatic at risk children are displayed in Table 4 above. Comparison among all groups showed no significant change in mean plasma sCD44 and HA values. However, AIS patients exhibiting the most severe spinal deformities 45°) had also the lowest mean plasma sCD44 level when compared to the other three groups (p=0.066).

CD44 and sCD44 can act as a receptor and decoy receptor for OPN respectively. In spite that no significant changes were measured among all groups tested, the most severely affected AIS patients (≧45°) showed the lowest mean sCD44 value among all groups tested, Interestingly, decreased plasma sCD44 levels were found in immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases(35-37), but none of these conditions normally lead to scoliosis in absence of high plasma OPN levels, suggesting that sCD44 could play a role in AIS as disease-modifying factor by interfering with the action of OPN (see FIG. 17).

EXAMPLE 9

Profiles of Change in OPN Levels, sCD44 Levels, and Cobb's Angle of AIS Patients Over Time

The progression of biomarkers (OPN and sCD44 levels) and Cobb's angle was measured over follow up time in AIS patients. FIG. 7 presents these progression in 4 selected AIS female patients (not under brace treatment) aged 12 (red), 14 (green and blue), and 17 (yellow) at baseline visit.

FIG. 8 presents the distribution of total change in OPN (left panel) and sCD44 (right panel) levels over follow-up time in AIS patients with worsened curve deformity (total increase in Cobb's angle greater than)3° and in those without significant change in curve (no change in Cobb's angle, decrease, or increase smaller than 3°; also presents for all Average change in OPN levels was significantly higher in the group with worsened curve deformity (Wilcoxon rank sum test p<0.01). No significant difference was detected for sCD44 (p>0.5). Length of follow-up time was similar between the 2 groups (p>0.5).

FIG. 9 shows OPN progression correlated with Cobb's angle progression in a group of AIS patients while FIG. 10 shows OPN regression or stabilization correlated with Cobb's angle regression or stabilization in other AIS patients;

OPN level can be used to identify among pre-diagnosed patients those in which scoliosis will progress.

EXAMPLE 10

Profiles of Change in OPN Levels, sCD44 Levels, and Cobb's Angle of Asymptomatic at Risk Patients Over Time

FIG. 11 shows profiles of change in OPN and sCD44 levels angle in 4 selected at risk subjects without scoliosis: one male aged 13 (green), and 3 female aged 5 (gold), 11 (blue), and 9 (red) at baseline visit. Significant inter-subject variability was observed in the baseline levels of biomarkers and change over time among at risk subjects (especially for OPN), indicating the potential of using this biomarker as a tool to monitor onset of scoliosis in at risk subjects.

Tables 5 to 8 below present the clinical and biochemical profiles in detail for each of the healthy control subjects (Table 5), of the AIS patients with Cobb's angles of less than 45 degrees (Table 6), of the AIS patients with Cobb's angles 45° or more (Table 7), and of the asymptomatic at risk children (Table 8).

TABLE 5
Clinical and biochemical profile of healthy control subjects.
Date ofCollectionTimepoint[sCD44]
RandomBirthGenderAgeDate(months)[OPN] (ng/ml)(ng/ml)[HA] (ng/ml)
11996-03-21M11.22007-05-22T0 663.92 ± 26.03533.4164.87 ± 6.05
21996-06-26M10.92007-05-22T0 418.23 ± 12.49504.38120.49 ± 2.06
11.62008-01-16T8 593.64 ± 28.77555.88 150.02 ± 15.74
31996-05-28F11.02007-05-22T0629.52 ± 0.64829.35140.89 ± 3.90
11.72008-01-16T8892.76 ± 1.54507.54 146.71 ± 24.69
41996-06-22M10.92007-05-22T0 458.68 ± 11.40799.57100.98 ± 6.89
51996-10-13F10.62007-05-22T0459.33 ± 2.90525.76139.84 ± 2.89
11.32008-01-16T8464.46 ± 2.29476.43 157.36 ± 20.10
71996-08-08F10.82007-05-22T0691.18 ± 2.50664.38120.69 ± 2.79
11.52008-01-16T8825.38 ± 1.16545.85 180.39 ± 42.55
81996-02-01M11.32007-05-22T0498.86 ± 0.66643.38 99.24 ± 2.35
12.02008-01-16T8 469.87 ± 11.47440.44154.20 ± 2.53
91997-06-28M9.92007-05-22T0 517.11 ± 53.44582.66134.43 ± 6.42
101997-07-23F9.82007-05-22T0 756.24 ± 23.61499.03131.04 ± 1.98
10.52008-01-16T81039.80 ± 3.10 337.33167.84 ± 2.48
111996-02-22M11.32007-06-06T0 653.09 ± 15.14581.14 191.13 ± 17.98
11.82007-12-04T6521.00 ± 5.82861.46265.54 ± 6.97
121996-02-09F11.32007-06-06T0 449.97 ± 11.21490.25 112.71 ± 17.95
11.82007-12-04T6923.12 ± 1.03476.09 188.80 ± 15.17
131996-05-17F11.12007-06-06T0488.30 ± 0.80428.77168.61 ± 9.49
11.62007-12-04T6659.35 ± 1.68584.96 182.09 ± 13.74
141995-10-20M11.62007-06-06T0610.77 ± 8.93573.88128.40 ± 6.58
12.12007-12-04T6 469.87 ± 19.12527.07 167.16 ± 44.48
161997-03-07F10.22007-06-06T0544.82 ± 7.91516.6132.83 ± 2.07
10.72007-12-04T6723.88 ± 8.56503.74 65.43 ± 9.60
171996-05-09M11.12007-06-06T0450.87 ± 6.41553.26 255.19 ± 14.61
11.62007-12-04T6 530.37 ± 16.78267.86 42.33 ± 7.47
181997-09-02F9.82007-06-06T0 555.41 ± 32.17498.65 127.24 ± 10.65
191996-11-04M10.62007-06-06T0314.85 ± 9.93682.71 175.92 ± 16.20
201997-05-30F10.02007-06-06T0381.57 ± 4.61373.01 87.65 ± 3.71
10.52007-12-04T6434.48 ± 5.73497.7142.61 ± 8.42
211997-01-07F10.42007-06-06T0318.19 ± 6.62474.59235.76 ± 3.68
10.92007-12-04T6393.98 ± 3.87571.14209.26 ± 2.40
221997-02-09F10.32007-06-06T0 882.15 ± 18.31542.95131.86 ± 1.13
10.82007-12-04T6804.46593.61 120.43 ± 14.60
231997-03-02M10.32007-06-06T0307.71 ± 4.88621.23157.12 ± 2.29
241997-06-19F10.02007-06-06T0 423.06 ± 13.90561.28149.88 ± 5.65
251997-04-12F10.12007-06-06T0758.88 ± 5.74478.79169.32 ± 8.25
261997-12-02M9.52007-06-06T0441.36 ± 8.32645.84 148.32 ± 16.36
271996-04-03F11.22007-06-06T0794.21 ± 5.50545.62 77.58 ± 8.87
11.72007-12-04T6748.79 ± 7.61575.46 228.08 ± 27.64
281995-09-30F11.72007-06-12T0503.25 ± 8.16451.68 71.91 ± 4.23
291996-09-15M10.72007-06-12T0576.62 ± 5.29554.79 80.24 ± 3.69
11.22007-12-04T6552.15598.79 108.09 ± 16.44
301996-01-18F11.42007-06-12T0578.62 ± 0.24634.22126.21 ± 4.18
11.92007-12-04T6498.67 ± 8.60606.57 192.18 ± 31.90
311996-08-24F10.82007-06-12T0531.91 ± 4.36432.2132.19 ± 5.06
11.32007-12-04T6455.46 ± 4.85660.14244.46 ± 3.49
321997-04-19F10.12007-06-12T0611.32 ± 6.46481.47 92.69 ± 2.87
10.62007-12-04T6 406.38 ± 19.28415.61 142.80 ± 25.25
331997-04-21M10.12007-06-12T0543.15 ± 7.32403.56 91.82 ± 4.49
10.62007-12-04T6360.77 ± 9.93544.36 81.68 ± 23.85
341995-11-15M11.62007-06-12T0856.07 ± 3.82501.71 96.37 ± 4.15
12.12007-12-04T6 922.12 ± 20.68535.71 56.34 ± 1.86
351996-04-22F11.12007-06-12T0659.81 ± 5.54502.09 87.90 ± 4.85
11.62007-12-04T6 596.77 ± 10.14378.46 242.42 ± 36.30
361995-12-09M11.52007-06-12T0 816.64 ± 14.56502.85 83.26 ± 0.12
371995-10-07M11.72007-06-12T0 805.92 ± 14.01511.63 80.24 ± 3.69
12.22007-12-04T6 304.61 ± 14.94489.06 141.51 ± 21.50
*Plus-minus values are means ± standard deviations.
†Healthy control subjects have no family history of scoliosis and are examined before sample collection by an orthopaedic surgeon.

TABLE 6
Clinical and biochemical profiles of AIS patients with Cobb's angles less than 45°.
PatientTimepointCobb's AngleCurve
IDDate of BirthGenderAgeCollection Date(mths)Pre-opType
1021991-09-12F13.82005-06-10T018rT
14.32006-01-13T716rT
15.82007-06-01T1216rT
16.22007-11-30T2917rT
1031991-09-04M13.82005-06-10T013lT
1041992-01-29F13.42005-06-10T021-22rTlL
1061992-08-10F14.82007-06-05T025-24rTlL
15.22007-10-05T422-18rTlL
1071991-09-09F13.82005-06-20T031-32rTlL
1131995-11-21F9.72005-07-22T010rT
11.52007-05-18T2215rT
1181991-06-04F16.62008-01-18T022-22rTlTL
1231993-09-23F12.12005-11-04T028rTL
14.32008-01-18T2619-31lTrTL
1241990-12-09F14.92005-11-04T033-32rTlTL
1271992-01-18F13.92005-12-02T033-19rTrT
1281997-03-18F8.82005-12-02T010lTL
1301991-06-05F14.52005-12-09T019rTL
1311992-11-09F13.12005-12-09T032-24rTlL
15.02007-11-12T2332-24rTlL
1361989-10-10F16.32006-01-13T014lTL
1381993-06-04F12.72006-02-17T024-26rTlL
14.32007-10-24T2022-25rTlL
14.72008-02-04T2423-26rTlTL
1391993-12-06F12.22006-02-24T012.-14 rTlL
14.22008-02-08T2412.-6  rTlL
1411992-07-20F13.72006-03-10T020-18rTlL
15.52008-01-22T22 9.-13rTlTL
1421992-12-19F13.22006-03-10T031lTL
15.12008-01-23T2225lTL
1461990-05-13F16.02006-05-26T032-22rTlL
1481993-08-12F14.32007-12-07T011lTL
1491988-09-28M17.72006-06-02T031-26rTlL
1501992-10-16F13.62006-06-02T025rT
1511993-04-11F14.72007-12-03T028-20rTlL
1521990-10-04F15.72006-06-02T034lL
1541989-11-24F16.62006-06-08T040lTL
18.12007-12-07T1838lTL
1551991-01-01F15.42006-06-08T026lTL
1591998-03-04F9.72007-11-06T0 3lTL
1611994-04-27F13.62007-11-30T015lTL
1651995-08-30F12.32007-12-03T034-20rTlL
1681992-04-24F14.22006-06-26T016-18rTlL
14.62006-11-21T517-16rTlL
15.52007-10-01T1614-16rTlTL
1761992-10-24F13.82006-07-03T029rT
14.22007-01-15T627rT
1831991-09-13M14.82006-05-07T017rL
15.42007-06-02T13 7.-19rTlL
2001992-07-29M15.22007-10-30T023-24rTlL
2011992-11-27F13.72006-07-12T0 10-17.rTlL
2251994-05-09F12.22006-07-24T015-19lTrTL
12.82007-02-27T713-18lTrL
2341990-07-16M16.22006-10-13T026rT
2351991-10-29M152006-10-13T020lTL
162007-10-11T1218lTL
2401993-10-04F13.22006-12-11T017-23rTlL
2421989-09-12F17.32007-01-12T0 6lTL
2441990-10-20F16.22007-01-19T027-29rTlL
17.32008-02-13T13NANA
2451992-01-27F15.02007-01-22T031-35rTlL
15.82007-11-14T1028-35rTlL
2471994-12-18F12.12007-01-26T0 9rTL
12.82007-10-09T9 6rTL
2481997-06-16F9.62007-01-26T0 9rL
10.32007-10-09T9 3lTL
2491991-03-25F15.92007-02-02T031lTL
16.42007-08-03T6NAlTL
16.92008-02-01T1236lTL
2501992-05-08F14.72007-02-02T032lTL
15.42007-10-15T821lTL
2511991-09-05F15.42007-02-02T040-30rTlL
2531992-10-18M14.32007-02-27T031rT
2541991-12-11F15.22007-03-09T028lTL
15.92007-11-12T815lTL
2561996-03-19F11.02007-03-09T011lTL
2571995-04-15F11.92007-03-09T0 6rTL
12.52007-10-16T7NANA
2581990-06-24M16.82007-03-09T014rT
17.32007-10-02T8NANA
2591994-07-07F12.72007-03-16T0 8lTL
13.52007-10-15T711lTL
2601994-07-07M12.72007-03-16T0 6rTL
13.52007-10-05T7 4lTL
2611997-06-19F9.72007-03-16T021lL
10.32007-10-17T710lTL
10.42008-02-06T11 5lTL
2631994-10-13F12.42007-03-20T0 7.-12rTlL
2641992-05-24F14.82007-03-20T023-30rTlL
2651993-05-04F13.92007-03-20T023lL
14.52007-11-13T8 11-14.rTlL
2661991-01-25F16.22007-04-02T034rTL
16.82007-11-15T734rTL
2671994-05-14F12.92007-04-02T0 5rTL
13.52007-11-15T7 5rTL
2681994-08-17F12.62007-04-04T012.-4  rTlL
2711994-11-17F12.42007-04-13T023rTL
12.92007-10-15T624rTL
2721994-04-14F13.02007-04-13T022-24rTlL
13.62007-12-05T814-15rTlL
2731991-06-30F15.82007-04-13T025rTL
2741990-02-28F17.12007-04-17T011.-22 rTlL
2751996-04-08F11.02007-04-19T027-1. rTlL
11.52007-10-15T626-19rTlTL
2761994-09-26F13.12007-10-15T019-19rTlL
2771994-11-02F12.42007-04-19T012lL
13.02007-11-14T715-13rTlL
2781992-06-08M14.92007-05-04T022-14rTlL
15.32007-10-23T526-28rTlL
2791998-09-22F8.72007-05-30T019rT
9.22007-10-05T5 8rT
2801992-12-18F14.42007-05-30T019rT
14.92007-11-02T624rTL
2811994-10-17F12.62007-06-01T011rT
13.12007-11-09T5 9lTL
2821997-09-30F9.72007-06-13T020rT
10.32008-01-30T7NANA
2861994-06-01F13.32007-09-17T028lTL
2871991-11-15F15.82007-09-18T011rTL
2881996-05-13M11.32007-09-18T020lL
2891992-10-23F14.92007-09-18T018rT
2901993-10-02F14.02007-09-18T022rTL
2911992-07-10F20.92007-09-18T025-31rTlL
2921994-01-23F13.72007-09-21T020lTL
2931993-04-03F14.52007-09-21T016rT
2951991-08-09M16.12007-09-26T011.-8  rTlL
2961992-04-04F15.52007-09-28T015-18lTrL
2971997-07-13M10.22007-09-28T020lT
2981994-11-09F12.92007-09-28T018-21rTlL
2991990-03-21F17.52007-10-03T033-43rTlL
3011995-02-06F12.72007-10-09T013lT
3021993-05-07F14.42007-10-09T014.-12 rTlL
3031991-03-29F16.52007-10-15T014lTL
3041991-10-25F16.02007-10-16T025lT
3051992-02-24F15.72007-10-19T023lTL
3061994-09-22F13.12007-10-19T013-18rTlL
3071994-01-25M13.72007-10-24T08-11-11.lTrTlL
3081997-05-22F10.42007-10-26T0 8rTL
3091996-04-10F11.52007-10-26T010lTL
3111993-05-07F14.52007-10-26T017lTL
3131993-06-04F14.42007-10-26T020-18rTlL
3141993-03-11F14.62007-10-29T024rL
3151993-12-16F13.92007-10-31T014lTL
3161992-10-07M15.12007-10-31T028rT
3181997-05-25F10.42007-10-15T011rTL
3191993-06-28F14.42007-11-06T022lTL
3201993-09-24F14.12007-11-09T015rT
3211992-07-04F15.32007-11-09T016rTL
3221996-06-01F11.42007-11-09T0 4lTL
3241991-04-20F16.62007-11-09T019-19rTlL
3251994-03-26F13.62007-11-09T021rTL
3261994-02-02M13.82007-11-13T013lTL
3281994-09-24F12.82007-11-14T011lTL
3291996-05-29F11.52007-11-14T0 6rTL
3301994-02-05F13.82007-11-16T012lTL
3321992-01-26M15.82007-11-23T024lTL
3331993-10-21F14.12007-11-23T030lTL
3341993-08-07F14.32007-11-23T029-27rTlL
3351996-01-16F11.92007-11-23T028-27rTlL
3371991-09-04M16.22007-11-28T024lL
3381994-12-31F12.92007-11-30T010lTL
3391992-03-17F15.72007-11-30T025lTL
3401995-05-21F12.52007-11-30T030lTL
3411996-02-11F11.82007-11-30T015-14rTlL
3421993-12-01F14.02007-12-07T016rTL
3431993-06-29M14.42007-12-07T015rTL
3441996-03-26F11.72007-12-07T010rTL
3451993-04-12F14.62007-12-07T030lTL
3461996-10-11F11.22007-12-07T018-17rTlTL
3471997-04-07F10.72007-12-11T0 5-6.rTlL
3481995-06-10M12.52007-12-11T010rTL
3501995-02-22F12.82007-12-13T025rTL
3511992-05-19F15.62007-12-13T014rTL
3521996-04-13M11.72007-12-13T014rTL
3531993-08-12M14.32007-12-13T024rT
3541994-06-07F13.52007-12-13T0 8lT
3551993-08-08F14.32007-12-13T027lTL
3561995-05-17F12.62007-12-13T019lTL
3581997-02-27F10.92008-01-11T018rTL
3591995-11-08F13.02008-01-15T014rTL
3601992-05-24F15.62008-01-15T014lTL
3611996-06-29F11.52008-01-15T023rTL
3621997-08-21F10.42008-01-16T011lTL
3631993-05-24F14.62008-01-16T020-24-19lTrTlTL
3641995-03-24F12.82008-01-16T010lTL
3651999-07-26F9.32008-01-16T0 5rTL
3681996-07-12F11.52008-01-18T014rTL
3691992-05-21F15.72008-01-18T025rTL
3701994-12-01F13.12008-01-18T018-15rTlL
3711992-02-04F16.02008-01-18T026-20rTlTL
3721991-06-21F16.62008-01-21T023-21rTlL
3741992-05-26F15.72008-01-21T025lL
3751992-10-21F15.32008-01-22T031-55rTlTL
3761993-05-18F14.72008-01-22T016rTL
3771995-01-31F13.02008-01-22T027lTL
3791996-09-14F11.42008-01-25T05.-5 lTrTL
3811992-01-11M16.02008-01-25T024rT
3821993-10-21F14.22008-01-25T028-25rTlTL
3831994-11-20F13.22008-01-25T030-27rTlTL
3841992-02-09M16.02008-01-29T025-19rTlL
3861994-09-02F13.42008-02-01T025-14lTrT
3871994-04-11F13.82008-02-01T014-15rTlTL
3881995-11-24F12.22008-02-01T034rT
3891997-04-13F10.82008-02-04T014lTL
3901994-04-28F13.82008-02-04T028-26rTlL
3911994-07-01F13.62008-02-05T037rTL
3921998-11-25F9.22008-02-05T016rTL
3931993-09-30M14.32008-02-05T026rTL
3951995-05-24F12.72008-02-08T011rT
3971999-02-20F9.02008-02-08T010rTL
3981997-09-16F10.42008-02-08T016rTL
3992000-09-28M7.42008-02-08T022-20rTlTL
4001994-05-25F13.72008-02-08T012rTL
4011994-02-17F14.02008-02-18T028-21rTlTL
4021991-07-15F16.62008-02-14T019-12rTlL
4031995-02-21F13.02008-02-14T013-13rTlTL
12641997-09-22F15.22005-04-18T040rTL
12761997-09-23F15.22005-05-16T042lT
13641997-09-24M14.92006-04-24T044lTL
13651990-05-11F15.92006-04-26T023-53lTrL
13661993-04-06F13.12006-05-01T036NA
13731991-10-07F14.62006-05-17T041-48rTlL
13801989-10-09F16.72006-06-26T035rL
13841991-01-17F15.52006-07-03T041lTL
15.82006-11-15T49-4
13851990-06-12F16.12006-07-04T042-23rTlL
13871991-07-15F15.02006-07-17T029-37-35rTlL
13881991-12-13F14.62006-07-19T038rTL
14091993-02-11F13.62006-09-26T040rT
14331992-07-03F14.52007-01-10T044rT
14511995-01-13F12.22007-03-14T042rT
14781990-08-06F16.82007-06-11T041rTL
14811990-08-15F16.82007-06-18T040rT
14831989-06-26F18.02007-06-19T037-25rTlL
14871990-05-30F17.12007-07-03T035-58-35lCrTlL
PatientDate of[sCD44]
IDsurgeryFamily history[OPN] (ng/ml)(ng/ml)[HA] (ng/ml)
102Cousin1265.10 375.56132.06 ± 39.35
766.80408.06388.93 ± 23.42
933.77 ± 13.23437.5571.91 ± 4.23
591.72 ± 66.49311.4027.92 ± 1.72
103Father (cyphose)1338.32792.62207.12
1041221.83742.48132.24
106972.87 ± 16.73488.7286.78 ± 6.34
485.82 ± 34.70475.13293.05 ± 40.93
107Mother739.611253.3109.39 ± 26.70
113670.49 ± 5.45 695.2141.10 ± 8.51
688.49 ± 23.78613.7949.16 ± 9.14
118Both parents372.79 ± 10.86273.3170.42 ± 4.85
123Both parents1466.97931.05128.78 ± 4.22 
779.90 ± 16.68410.10179.52 ± 21.17
124Cousins625.97816.60 96.08
127786.71755.60131.36 ± 22.43
128837.64628.74118.73 ± 10.43
130559.85552.7875.09 ± 7.11
131568.01578.96101.00 ± 11.04
450.45 ± 9.36 505.94100.03 ± 9.66 
136411.02670.3184.81 ± 2.56
138Cousin577.78293.5163.86 ± 4.11
379.04 ± 18.07388.16 86.23 ± 11.26
529.70 ± 4.86 378.03227.26 ± 0.94 
139847.98868.95136.19 ± 7.63 
1192.61 ± 10.71 444.33 73.88 ± 19.39
141Grand-mother,658.28735.50 90.51
cousins, uncle172.67 ± 8.59 433.637.31 ± 7.61
142Mother, cousin776.43907.96122.73 ± 7.61 
542.85 ± 1.41 511.4146.43 ± 63.23
1461501.42475.91 75.68 ± 10.22
148Mother1416.91 ± 41.50 550.437.79 ± 6.19
149472.61559.97138.95 ± 7.42 
150Sister805.88543.2271.24 ± 1.52
151732.19 ± 2.30 403.5120.80 ± 3.30
152Father655.10551.24122.69 ± 0.10 
154Cousin541.07639.52104.09 ± 13.96
1101.07 ± 38.84 342.1735.08 ± 5.40
155Aunt738.59796.06121.33 ± 17.72
159Mother769.50 ± 21.57831.18107.5 ± 1.08
161487.11 ± 29.43355.7923.63 ± 0.53
1651148.04 ± 47.51 607.4342.39 ± 7.68
168810.21 ± 28.48244.4103.10 ± 10.39
582.52 ± 23.29338.03 99.20 ± 18.18
441.81 ± 7.29 333.4126.96 ± 1.45 
176503.88 ± 35.81331.65 91.50 ± 21.99
675.38 ± 44.20305.92193.26 ± 2.38 
183733.99 ± 17.33550.24 72.91 ± 10.68
781.03 ± 3.27 531.9669.83 ± 7.07
200972.10 ± 4.92 401.94 88.41 ± 10.08
201Sister782.77 ± 2.63 498.93142.57 ± 44.69
225406.67 ± 3.40 617.37248.10 ± 24.21
651.89 ± 21.69524.947.95 ± 3.60
234840.88 ± 1.98 491.2689.04 ± 5.66
235586.25 ± 0.32 403.8181.655 ± 48.71 
523.39 ± 9.76 428.29188.63 ± 6.83 
240Mother, brother,525.88 ± 7.74 428.8371.91 ± 4.23
cousin
242Sister590.13 ± 6.00 435.5980.24 ± 3.69
244735.26 ± 4.42 510.4473.81 ± 6.20
1293.68 ± 36.92 449.144.51 ± 4.81
245496.26 ± 3.54 333.9770.41 ± 0.88
363.60 ± 2.97 562.5254.98 ± 5.08
247Mother, sister1148.31 ± 2.17 371.29164.68 ± 23.99
806.91 ± 16.69393.27141.16 ± 2.62 
248Mother, sister1010.38 ± 5.14 443.83142.95 ± 4.69 
841.24 ± 18.47490.2158.10 ± 33.95
249534.09 ± 7.74 459.5274.98 ± 0.08
340.44 ± 12.89499.97132.91 ± 37.20
579.65 ± 8.62 413.67 98.93 ± 19.98
250Uncle688.35 ± 9.46 587.1774.40 ± 3.75
612.19 ± 22.36540.29150.73
2511146.66 ± 7.34 437.2580.50 ± 5.24
253634.83 ± 0.90 486.03184.50 ± 20.76
254701.23 ± 1.92 362.2272.85 ± 2.66
548.26 ± 25.55538.6383.17 ± 0.07
256575.73 ± 5.49 530.6797.73 ± 3.00
257Mother995.77 ± 8.22 468.5994.49 ± 8.02
879.54 ± 20.53421.24102.11 ± 5.69 
258876.44 ± 9.21 564.1589.36 ± 4.66
520.58 ± 8.52 483.28175.81 ± 53.68
2591095.11 ± 7.88 397.4585.33 ± 4.07
1050.58 ± 5.08 466.58139.86 ± 15.48
2601084.13 ± 1.82 480.1127.84 ± 8.13 
494.25 ± 22.05401.01188.45 ± 31.29
261745.79 ± 22.70568.33122.95 ± 2.89 
1150.38 ± 5.64 506.72206.45 ± 14.75
852.44 ± 31.69432.45142.46 ± 27.89
263989.52 ± 4.54 617.1674.05 ± 5.38
264Uncle579.22 ± 9.53 580.38100.39 ± 2.76 
265696.52 ± 8.57 491.96105.88 ± 7.86 
848.34 ± 8.38 531.14106.80 ± 1.16 
266728.63 ± 5.47 462.6678.08 ± 1.06
392.63 ± 9.28 349.3473.67 ± 3.30
267809.78 ± 2.39 579.1470.57 ± 2.92
925.13 ± 23.50827.3159.18 ± 8.22
268Mother750.67 ± 17.49385.93107.96 ± 12.28
271925.40 ± 10.01482.89 87.43 ± 12.34
1087.79 ± 22.62 423.61186.49 ± 10.22
272Aunt634.87 ± 15.77531.5486.12 ± 1.03
515.84 ± 13.88594.4730.80 ± 7.99
273455.86 ± 7.52 548.8 91.21 ± 10.34
274856.81 ± 23.09461.61103.50 ± 8.99 
275943.57 ± 8.27 469.6566.73 ± 5.64
339.71 ± 8.66 513.42159.78 ± 30.24
276430.84 ± 16.02431.09234.52 ± 26.95
277724.67 ± 0.64 394.6596.43 ± 0.04
634.03 ± 28.77659.6127.07 ± 4.00 
278Mother1045.58 ± 1.10 364.31106.88 ± 8.57 
1118.55 ± 3.48 457.48234.68 ± 24.37
279978.20 ± 17.94442.0885.62 ± 0.14
851.57 ± 67.60573.28 64.64
280Grand-parents839.91 ± 4.88 415.2382.19 ± 6.30
930.08 ± 11.55468.3563.88 ± 1.83
281991.09 ± 2.95 522.65151.89 ± 1.15 
655.22 ± 54.74505.44112.65 ± 14.80
282732.03 ± 19.20547.53138.06 ± 12.04
1196.46 ± 21.91 487.63129.70 ± 7.80 
286499.69 ± 1.97 400.19130.85 ± 3.82 
287602.68 ± 0.65 418.92190.43
288927.74 ± 4.10 533.37 55.21 ± 10.16
289509.91 ± 5.91 362.72 81.33 ± 11.16
290Aunts498.69 ± 46.68507.71127.53 ± 8.29 
291637.03 ± 7.11 467.8154.54 ± 1.72 
292Grand-Mother691.71 ± 37.30581.4376.54 ± 1.66
293494.81 ± 7.56 359.46166.11
295838.72 ± 39.67405.48159.20 ± 22.89
296761.74 ± 25.61494.27237.77
297Uncle768.08 ± 6.70 515.45100.00 ± 9.41 
298750.91 ± 16.94348.87290.06 ± 38.15
299625.36 ± 6.80 306.11135.94 ± 1.36 
301Grand-mother948.83 ± 11.23578.58150.57 ± 4.40 
302873.77 ± 2.17 373.31230.66 ± 10.50
303767.96 ± 29.04458.27192.45 ± 10.19
304Brother, father, all493.39 ± 34.21446.06185.69 ± 12.07
paternal family
305Mother533.91 ± 18.09364.52123.23 ± 15.87
306Mother1016.54 ± 23.75 623.32216.02 ± 19.04
3071328.92 ± 1.50 569.35165.08 ± 16.63
308Aunts430.39 ± 5.44 519.72133.63 ± 11.13
309Mother, cousins536.77 ± 9.30 485.45285.92 ± 25.08
311493.18 ± 23.85546.9110.66 ± 9.59 
313Cousin536.22 ± 4.65 379.4999.52 ± 2.41
314Mother939.67 ± 37.16549.6678.11 ± 7.22
315537.59 ± 1.16 481.91142.26 ± 23.98
316636.17 ± 2.31 576.0594.21 ± 5.42
318Mother1151.62 ± 33.64 634.57112.13 ± 23.16
319Cousin518.10 ± 27.77667.0279.46 ± 6.89
320452.54 ± 10.01765.38134.09 ± 21.38
321470.02 ± 16.75377.13110.37 ± 12.77
322565.20 ± 48.73492.9495.12 ± 7.44
324659.93 ± 14.39562.5298.61 ± 6.25
325Mother, grand-761.48 ± 3.82 846.66 89.91 ± 12.48
parents
3261451.37 ± 77.12 617.35240.72 ± 27.74
328580.55 ± 24.91876.97174.59
329Mother877.16 ± 27.08953.41269.12 ± 4.88 
3301403.38 ± 20.98 465.43279.56
332864.14 ± 43.84699.27175.34 ± 30.44
333Cousin564.09 ± 7.37 762.16143.10 ± 30.54
334896.91 ± 29.60727.33155.95 ± 38.28
3351192.08 ± 14.98 839.56162.32 ± 0.67 
337Sister914.93 ± 10.71788.28114.15 ± 25.71
338Aunt539.94 ± 1.35 301.4238.44 ± 5.53
339Grand-father747.48 ± 9.20 444.12253.92
340746.48 ± 45.11498.56259.46
341Cousin947.50 ± 31.38662.7375.40 ± 1.41
342993.33 ± 55.93376.7319.57 ± 5.63
343Grand-mother996.61 ± 25.86541.7643.48 ± 2.96
344637.78 ± 7.73 702.4826.94 ± 5.89
345Cousin722.43 ± 18.56429.4431.74 ± 1.77
346576.26 ± 24.83436.3529.25 ± 2.56
347Sister1272.11 ± 18.19 425.9841.20 ± 4.60
348Sister776.87 ± 50.77384.5127.13 ± 1.84
3501020.59 ± 46.63 488.1932.35 ± 2.16
351Father557.14 ± 25.67475.2320.16 ± 2.76
352Father1339.62 ± 39.88 566.82 97.02
3531569.33 ± 43.27 607.43105.59 ± 95.83
354608.88 ± 6.80 431.16 69.78 ± 40.24
355691.05 ± 37.53378.46 24.41 ± 12.43
356824.89 ± 1.39 467.45 43.63
358554.86 ± 8.43 387.21116.04 ± 22.53
359709.63 ± 3.85 485.94195.32 ± 34.14
360Mother466.35 ± 12.61335.02157.17 ± 7.22 
361Aunt899.31 ± 10.09441.7281.52 ± 1.47
362Grand-mother471.73 ± 21.57437.35110.36 ± 7.42 
363Mother, grand-743.10 ± 15.01353.53161.77 ± 25.40
mother, aunt
364Mother, grand-767.06 ± 11.17460.75160.24 ± 26.97
mother, aunt
365Mother, grand-883.48 ± 2.32 403.41127.81 ± 23.58
mother, aunt
3681206.06 ± 43.70 415.24136.62 ± 28.94
369454.71 ± 13.34431.44132.25 ± 19.69
370855.36 ± 10.35395.7140.53 ± 2.77 
371Aunt, cousin740.05 ± 5.38 487.74112.07 ± 3.13 
372436.58 ± 40.88395.61170.65 ± 13.44
374496.50 ± 28.07401.477.69 ± 6.60
375475.88 ± 0.00 385.69130.95 ± 3.80 
376554.83 ± 44.65387.6173.78 ± 0.15
377739.47 ± 8.03 384.1679.40 ± 1.15
3791404.12 ± 66.84 659.3278.73 ± 2.62
381782.27 ± 1.42 505.65283.01 ± 26.97
382998.95 ± 9.12 327.82 77.64 ± 12.98
383900.32 ± 24.08401.7983.98 ± 7.31
384479.70 ± 36.72444.82134.93 ± 7.83 
386732.99 ± 28.62637.86129.78 ± 2.15 
387Cousin853.05 ± 70.97373.81146.21 ± 6.37 
388963.01 ± 40.86465.0266.49 ± 7.43
389Father689.25 ± 35.56435.9 67.38 ± 15.52
390Father930.28 ± 18.25368.8356.32 ± 0.12
391540.38 ± 9.17 501.8149.99 ± 7.23
392Brother661.55 ± 38.23412.14 77.84 ± 23.22
393Brother1235.01 ± 29.98 488.02106.86 ± 17.43
395Mother716.48 ± 30.93496.4582.74 ± 2.92
397Mother, grand-751.57 ± 2.34 543.59 85.71 ± 21.81
mother
398Mother, grand-872.92 ± 6.46 526.3498.45 ± 6.33
mother
399444.55 ± 43.23481.5 74.45 ± 10.16
400Mother, aunt1492.58 ± 30.46 477.59135.22 ± 2.80 
401691.24 ± 23.14316.3850.01 ± 1.95
402423.93 ± 1.08 314.4836.64 ± 2.04
403Sister1216.81 ± 131.72354.37 52.43 ± 15.76
12642005-04-18616.12578.96 65.92
12762005-05-16817.56450.13107.62 ± 12.96
13642006-04-24Sister, aunt1668.06 407.480.85 ± 6.90
13652006-04-26947.35642.6663.18 ± 5.41
13662006-05-011317.97 323.04 89.70 ± 20.57
13732006-05-171584.54 583.14 80.12 ± 18.75
13802006-06-261289.98 602.35139.38
13842006-07-031502.51 ± 18.63 194.3121.65 ± 44.94
1258.85 ± 16.20 448.68162.01 ± 11.64
13852006-07-041098.75 523.52102.35
13872006-07-17Mother1017.47 689.52 78.42
13882006-07-191080.53 811.37 87.57
14092006-09-26499.41 ± 67.54389.14113.56 ± 15.03
14332007-01-10Uncle459.61 ± 17.79287.42263.55 ± 34.89
14512007-03-14Grand-mother1099.93 ± 48.11 290.5158.45 ± 3.94 
14782007-06-11Father619.94 ± 46.51251.56190.25 ± 18.46
14812007-06-18748.36 ± 9.30 250.1495.34 ± 6.52
14832007-06-19489.30 ± 93.18396.39167.02 ± 28.62
14872007-07-03Aunts508.82 ± 50.08281.4817.75 ± 1.94
*Plus-minus values are means ± standard deviations.
**All patients are diagnosed with AIS
†Curve type nomenclature: r, right/l, left/T, Thoracic/L, Lumbar/TL, Thoracolumbar/C, Cervical.
‡Certain clinical information may not have been available at the time of the study, NA.

TABLE 7
Clinical and biochemical profiles of AIS patients with Cobb's angles of 45° or more.
Cobb's
PatientDate ofCollectionTimepointAngleCurve
IDBirthGenderAgeDate(months)Pre-opType
1011988-05-22F17.12005-06-10T047rT
1081989-08-29F15.92005-07-04T045lL
17.22006-11-21T1640lL
1351987-12-31F18.02006-01-13T047-30rTlL
1451990-02-15M16.22006-04-21T050-43rTlTL
1701991-07-08F14.92006-06-26T053-22rTlL
15.92007-04-18T1044-21rTlL
11501992-04-18F12.12004-05-11T084rT
11691989-09-19F14.82004-06-22T054-52rTlL
11921990-10-16F13.92004-09-08T059rT
12121991-05-06F13.52004-11-22T054rT
12541991-07-23F13.72005-03-16T052-49rTlL
12671990-09-08F14.62005-04-25T055lT
12821988-12-29F16.52005-06-06T049rT
13101990-05-05F15.62005-11-09T055-42rTlL
13531989-08-08F16.62006-03-27T046lT
17.22006-10-06T7 2NA
13541991-11-18F14.32006-03-27T045rT
13551990-02-26M16.12006-03-28T074-53rTlL
13571990-08-23F14.82005-06-15T047-50rTlL
15.72006-04-04T1057-50rTlL
13601996-05-09F9.92006-04-10T053-46rTlL
13611989-09-03F16.62006-04-10T065-95rTlL
13691992-02-19F14.22006-05-09T088rT
14.82006-11-24T625NA
13711991-01-30F15.32006-05-15T072-59rTlL
13721990-09-06F15.72006-05-16T0 63-45-rTLlLC
33
13741989-10-05F16.62006-05-29T045lTL
13781992-12-14M13.52006-06-05T070lTL
13811990-10-03F15.72006-06-27T066lT
13891995-10-26F10.72006-07-24T046-66rTlTL
11.02006-10-02T5NANA
13901990-12-12F15.62006-07-24T053lTL
13921993-05-25F13.22006-07-26T048rT
13931991-05-09F15.22006-07-26T056lTL
13951988-10-25F17.82006-08-08T084lTL
13961995-05-27F11.22006-08-14T074-62rTlL
11.32006-09-26T1NANA
13971988-12-23M17.72006-08-29T060-58rTlL
17.92006-10-11T234-23NA
14061991-10-29F14.92006-09-20T062-60rTlL
14101993-01-04F13.72006-09-28T056rT
13.82006-11-21T223NA
14161991-07-10F15.42006-11-15T056-30rTlL
14201993-06-30F13.42006-11-29T060-48rTlL
14221994-06-27F12.42006-12-06T060-50rTlL
14301989-09-28F17.32007-01-03T048rT
14421994-08-21F12.52007-02-14T060rT
14461988-07-10F18.62007-02-26T060rT
14481992-12-07F14.32007-03-13T049lTL
14571993-05-30F13.92007-04-10T050-43rTlL
14581991-09-27F15.42007-04-11T045rT
14591990-03-28F17.12007-04-16T072-36rTlL
17.22007-05-18T1NANA
14611990-05-17F16.92007-04-18T048rT
14641990-01-02F17.32007-04-25T053rT
14671990-11-18F16.52007-05-08T060rT
14681991-11-12M15.52007-05-14T069rTL
14711989-10-08F17.62007-05-29T060rTL
14741989-06-24M18.02007-06-04T054-52rTlL
14771992-10-17F14.62007-06-06T062-65rTlL
14841991-04-27F16.22007-06-26T060rT
14881992-02-17M15.42007-07-16T087rT
14891990-09-26M16.82007-07-17T057rT
14951992-03-19F15.52007-09-17T067-39rT
14981992-11-05F14.92007-09-18T051-42rTL
15011989-02-04F16.52005-07-22T058rTL
17.82006-11-21T1660rTL
15021994-03-14F13.62007-10-15T055-43rTlL
13.82007-12-05T2NANA
15061992-07-07F15.32007-11-06T065rT
1517Nov. 20, 1990M17.22008-02-13T050-62rTlTL
1518Dec. 8, 1991F16.22008-02-13T062-62rTlL
15191993-04-19M14.82008-02-08T051rT
15201993-06-26F14.62008-02-08T054-42rTlTL
PatientDate of[sCD44]
IDSurgeryFamily History[OPN] (ng/ml)(ng/ml)[HA] (ng/ml)
1011047.64728.42221.97 ± 8.23 
108 774.45704.05 86.15 ± 12.73
414.67 ± 55.62361.83172.00 ± 3.68 
135 657.01839.02117.48 ± 5.37 
145Brother1178.85961.85120.52 ± 8.59 
1702007-08Aunt480.97 ± 29.49317.233.76 ± 0.92
540.63 ± 10.65410.6670.69 ± 4.67
11502004-05-11Mother, grand- 884.02874.5997.74
mother
11692004-06-22 776.13868.43101.22 ± 9.41 
11922004-09-081140.09596.4166.97
12122004-11-22Great-aunt 834.47796.5675.57
12542005-03-161091.92882.2982.8 
12672005-04-25 509.48596.4176.87
12822005-06-06 718.45788.41 53.95 ± 16.65
13102005-11-091042.25789.32132.89 
13532006-03-271078.92 ± 33.32 262.5990.88 ± 1.59
44.35 ± 0.50342.48157.74 ± 37.90
13542006-03-27 1378.360725.138 61.016
13552006-03-281871.67467.38253.56 ± 6.84 
13572006-04-04Brother705.92 ± 16.09415.22174.61 ± 74.40
1788.1 374.776.86 ± 4.78
13602006-04-10Father, aunt1820.95444.42 80.45 ± 29.61
13612006-04-101512.16599.64 67.13 ± 10.66
13692006-05-091498.66262.5891.42 ± 8.52
541.43 ± 10.31317.72166.79 ± 35.56
13712006-05-151723.91224.15 89.53 ± 18.60
13722006-05-16Aunt1016.66597.265.24 ± 5.40
13742006-05-291698.01544.71 70.32 ± 16.24
13782006-06-051531.64394.74249.97 
13812006-06-271032.61626.2589.25
13892006-07-24899.76 ± 20.49359.31187.61 ± 62.69
770.91 ± 13.31533.4282.67 ± 1.55
13902006-07-241269.89839.0278.42
13922006-07-26Grand-mother,1341.80 ± 15.38 87.13105.48 ± 0.34 
aunts
13932006-07-26 969.63821.2181.59
13952006-08-08Aunt1205.3 450.1341.8 
13962006-08-141624.64 ± 5.10 166.83172.75 ± 26.23
773.40 ± 16.42342.29218.18 ± 2.83 
13972006-08-29Uncle1581.40 ± 11.23 440.95106.21 ± 10.20
1191.01 ± 14.64 546.18158.77 ± 21.05
14062006-09-20628.36 ± 45.23304.0452.88 ± 0.66
14102006-09-28Mother, aunt1287.16 ± 3.12 133.56119.48 ± 24.22
903.57 ± 52.88328.75141.76 ± 12.56
14162006-11-15514.30 ± 15.49233.55121.42 ± 28.69
14202006-11-29Sister, aunt661.35 ± 21.22314.01127.14 ± 1.06 
14222006-12-06Sister530.56 ± 6.57 190.55 61.30 ± 14.49
14302007-01-03533.56 ± 24.89228.5451.29 ± 7.00
14422007-02-14512.99 ± 44.58163.01162.44 ± 3.03 
14462007-02-26537.87 ± 4.70 332.42 66.44 ± 20.48
14482007-03-13588.73 ± 25.88110.3138.81 ± 10.07
14572007-04-101073.67 ± 69.04 401.7983.21 ± 0.17
14582007-04-11401.08 ± 22.88212.1666.48 ± 0.55
14592007-04-16761.78 ± 11.69104.6142.08 ± 5.99
744.34 ± 10.91340.71 
14612007-04-18Sister200.53 ± 3.68 371.51112.29 ± 27.44
14642007-04-25778.26 ± 19.40163.01133.86 ± 4.16 
14672007-05-08453.32 ± 17.32236.2348.59 ± 6.73
14682007-05-14Cousin574.80 ± 42.46283.37116.85 ± 14.54
14712007-05-29907.06 ± 34.13332.42 66.91 ± 28.51
14742007-06-041254.39 ± 4.53 334.72 71.72 ± 16.08
14772007-06-06Mother, brother829.32 ± 15.89355.03150.57 ± 28.87
14842007-06-26489.15 ± 20.09216.6788.54 ± 422 
14882007-07-16Mother1358.23 ± 56.62 304.83120.78 ± 13.25
14892007-07-171417.61 ± 0.00 146.93135.42 ± 2.53 
14952007-09-17437.55 ± 14.74227.8232.06 ± 0.29
14982007-09-18557.43 ± 50.58152.3 62.63 ± 12.90
1501 939.53711.38144.30 ± 16.14
580.11 ± 7.56 503.43107.24 ± 7.29 
15022007-10-15856.14 ± 4.95 386.19152.27 ± 5.09 
1089.57 ± 22.51 349.14 55.91 ± 10.45
15062007-11-06675.53 ± 13.63241.98 85.64 ± 24.87
1517666.49 ± 65.68328.96 41.3 ± 8.74
1518672.59 ± 35.53440.5567.71 ± 6.81
1519945.23 ± 53.53360.0266.48 ± 1.10
1520752.87 ± 23.12288.3587.08 ± 0.36
*Plus-minus values are means ± standard deviations.
**All patients are diagnosed with AIS
†Curve type nomenclature: r, right/l, left/T, Thoracic/L, Lumbar/TL, Thoracolumbar/C, Cervical.
‡Certain clinical information may not have been available at the time of the study, NA.

TABLE 8
Clinical and biochemical profiles of asymptomatic at risk children.
CollectionTimepoint[sCD44]
Family IdDate of BirthGenderAgeDate(months)Family History[OPN] (ng/ml)(ng/ml)[HA] (ng/ml)
 11997-09-02M8.82006-07-10T0Mother 439.72 ± 12.32561.46118.71 ± 8.74 
 11995-09-06F10.82006-07-10T0Mother207.88 ± 0.93315.67180.71 ± 19.91
 21998-02-08F8.72006-10-03T0Mother, uncle, grand-1650.21 ± 13.90416.99199.56 ± 55.60
9.22007-04-19T6father1966.98 ± 1.96 459.89207.57 ± 39.18
9.82007-12-12T141816.83 ± 24.08387.1209.86 ± 21.38
 22001-06-18M5.82007-04-19T0Mother, uncle, grand-493.98 ± 7.26463.6843.99 ± 3.74
6.52007-12-12T8father 684.54 ± 10.06438.94102.21 ± 61.17
 31994-08-24F12.22006-10-19T0Sister690.58 ± 2.92418.18220.8 
12.62007-05-02T7 727.27 ± 17.36467.79196.82 ± 18.74
13.22007-12-12T141212.32 ± 0.48 311.06279.74 ± 30.33
 42003-10-17F3.02006-10-19T0Mother1530.90 ± 28.42478.58225.02 ± 20.51
3.52007-04-11T61021.07 ± 7.22 464.63122.36 ± 15.35
4.22007-12-12T141594.42 ± 23.36470.05332.11
 52003-07-17M3.22006-10-19T0Mother 905.58 ± 30.14563.4458.88 ± 3.86
3.72007-04-19T61865.13 ± 7.35 434.93128.14 ± 4.00 
4.42007-12-09T14 960.14 ± 26.22631.9332.64 ± 5.81
 61998-07-26F8.22006-10-19T0Mother505.03 ± 8.92564.17 81.86 ± 13.18
 71995-06-16F11.32006-10-24T0Mother548.59 ± 6.61512.92 80.39 ± 31.53
11.82007-04-11T6766.85 ± 5.73396.69103.31 ± 22.50
12.32007-10-17T12 596.91 ± 35.50465.36122.40 ± 8.97 
 81996-04-10F10.52006-10-26T0Mother1109.78 ± 47.61401.6677.16 ± 9.72
112007-04-11T6 875.81 ± 14.01366.36176.96 ± 4.68 
 91995-05-09F11.42006-10-26T0Mother1657.97 440.3112.58 ± 0.45 
11.92007-04-11T6782.29 ± 1.47429.5686.57 ± 1.46
12.82008-02-13T16 885.10 ± 35.98255.663.42 ± 7.99
102002-08-03F4.22006-10-26T0Mother 901.66 ± 12.01398.27158.65 ± 60.85
4.72007-04-11T6929.42 ± 3.07356.88167.19 ± 0.13 
111992-09-07F14.12006-10-26T0Mother528.00 ± 8.83469.7869.05 ± 4.37
14.82007-07-11T9 714.79 ± 14.44383.137.97 ± 3.99
15.32008-01-23T15443.30 ± 0.58472.69 80.27 ± 11.45
121991-12-15F14.82006-10-26T0Mother818.88 ± 0.94518.03134.08 ± 84.67
15.32007-04-11T6648.15487.38140.02 ± 50.63
15.92007-11-14T13 398.28 ± 19.81521.44191.07 ± 8.20 
121996-02-23M10.72006-10-26T0Mother1203.88 ± 55.29681.23 85.30 ± 36.75
11.22007-04-11T61930.95 ± 1.96 633.37107.10 ± 15.99
11.82007-11-14T131341.78 ± 31.57687.61170.54 ± 25.46
131993-10-09F13.02006-10-26T0Mother, grand-mother 730.44 ± 33.95397.1241.87 ± 4.55
13.62007-05-02T7 420.91 ± 23.59412.49216.75 ± 27.71
14.12007-11-14T13943.64 ± 1.96698.95124.28 ± 15.03
142001-09-07F5.22006-11-16T0Father 919.94 ± 11.91510.08 45.28 ± 10.89
151997-02-18M9.82006-11-16T0Mother1629.22 ± 12.49611.25129.80 ± 30.80
10.22007-04-11T51030.34 ± 6.55 690.56146.19 ± 2.58 
10.72007-10-10T11 929.36 ± 11.23590.8135.89 ± 18.75
162002-02-21F4.82006-11-16T0Mother1834.30 ± 4.16 628.94149.05 ± 19.17
5.22007-04-11T5909.22 ± 6.67661.18125.31
5.92007-12-12T13 877.48 ± 23.75466.59 70.10 ± 33.68
172000-03-30F6.72006-11-16T0Mother 482.76 ± 10.64678.55 95.92 ± 18.21
182000-08-01F6.22006-11-16T0Mother 870.73 ± 21.30644.62146.12 ± 36.68
181997-05-05M9.52006-11-16T0Mother1123.32 ± 7.06 401.66112.68 ± 11.34
201998-09-27F8.22006-11-22T0Father 506.21 ± 10.03456.42 59.40 ± 30.21
8.82007-07-11T8 677.71 ± 13.95416.2837.11 ± 6.95
21 (015)1998-11-17F8.02006-11-22T0Sister482.63 ± 7.58458.0299.16 ± 5.46
8.52007-05-23T6511.46488.33151.08
9.02007-11-14T12760.00 ± 3.99589.62190.77 ± 5.64 
21 (016)1991-08-13F15.22006-11-22T0Sister617.06 ± 7.65511.71110.15 ± 12.37
15.72007-05-23T6 619.60 ± 17.63519.393.16 ± 0.39
16.22007-11-14T12685.18 ± 0.80529.63218.26 ± 27.22
221992-05-15M14.52006-11-22T0Mother, grand-mother1082.23 ± 65.01445.66 81.35 ± 14.77
14.92007-04-11T51044.90 ± 3.21 432.72152.54 ± 10.62
15.62008-01-23T141010.18 ± 60.70384.16106.42 ± 10.80
23 (334)1994-09-24F12.22006-11-29T0Sister1365.94 ± 1.71 346.45150.14 ± 2.53 
12.62007-04-19T51856.82 ± 12.74501.92167.91 ± 17.19
13.12007-10-10T11 947.97 ± 16.31489.38271.36 ± 20.40
241994-11-24M12.02006-11-29T0Mother, aunt 775.28 ± 20.77427.4984.54 ± 0.14
12.52007-05-02T6 610.29 ± 10.86436.82130.53 ± 2.30 
13.12007-12-12T13718.55 ± 5.97355.99127.92 ± 3.93 
241994-11-24F122006-11-29T0Mother, aunt 815.81 ± 22.25473.76160.63 ± 8.36 
12.52007-05-02T6 673.56 ± 16.29445.36127.40 ± 37.13
13.12007-12-12T131299.89 ± 28.77662.73276.97
251998-06-05F8.42006-11-29T0Mother, father1245.41 ± 13.75441.4108.75 ± 18.90
8.82007-04-19T51766.40 ± 2.69 500.34197.20 ± 31.62
9.32007-10-10T11 944.99 ± 25.37476.76115.66 ± 10.09
252001-06-04M5.42006-11-29T0Mother, father1181.70 ± 50.65303.75157.81 ± 11.99
5.82007-04-19T51707.51 ± 30.62319.63113.24 ± 2.45 
6.32007-10-10T11 867.79 ± 25.36364.76114.76 ± 33.42
261994-03-18F12.72006-11-29T0Mother676.95 ± 9.57432.08 86.09
271987-12-13F192006-12-19T0Father287.27 ± 8.96572.38101.88 ± 13.89
282003-05-23F3.62006-12-19T0Mother612.92 ± 3.03760.0845.57 ± 3.40
291990-10-17M16.22006-12-19T0Mother 459.54 ± 29.16488.33 99.03 ± 54.21
17.02007-10-10T10 505.24 ± 39.04441.73121.53 ± 15.54
29 (652)1999-05-11F7.62006-12-19T0Mother 576.64 ± 20.73656.77114.39
8.42007-10-10T10972.66 ± 7.97636.32138.53 ± 16.69
29 (160)1996-12-02F10.02006-12-19T0Mother 583.62 ± 19.18600.16136.79 ± 10.66
10.82007-10-10T10874.79 ± 2.17535.48112.73 ± 7.74 
301995-03-09M11.82006-12-19T0Mother1608.98 ± 8.37 607.15115.19 ± 6.27 
12.32007-07-04T71107.95 ± 0.53 504.15 40.04 ± 11.63
12.82008-01-23T131578.17 ± 18.50469.6293.33 ± 3.68
301997-06-08F9.52006-12-19T0Mother1211.80 ± 5.47 586.43172.18 ± 4.00 
10.12007-07-04T7 774.18 ± 21.15534.59 40.03 ± 11.95
10.62008-01-23T13 697.49 ± 12.25473.4595.89 ± 6.16
311998-03-18F8.82006-12-19T0Mother, aunt, grand-467.80 ± 1.39574.23106.48 ± 29.19
father
311999-11-03M7.12006-12-19T0Mother, aunt, grand- 745.53 ± 40.56552.6698.22 ± 1.18
father
322004-06-20F2.52006-12-19T0Mother, grand-mother1573.79 ± 0.72 576.5142.70 ± 0.57 
3.12007-07-04T71034.97 ± 25.55494.8252.38 ± 5.01
3.62008-01-23T131237.94 ± 48.60374.2152.27 ± 0.32 
331996-05-17M10.72007-01-10T0Mother623.78 ± 2.66649.44166.16 ± 32.22
11.52007-11-07T10671.14 ± 0.27634.536.87 ± 2.05
331996-06-25F11.22007-01-10T0Mother 893.13 ± 34.21436.8692.74 ± 2.45
11.72007-07-11T6 716.31 ± 27.52543.5937.95 ± 5.33
341996-08-14F10.32006-12-21T0Mother1135.80 ± 18.20508.95256.64 ± 37.18
10.82007-06-13T6594.41 ± 0.37490.6196.56 ± 2.45
11.42008-01-23T13 978.10 ± 49.46450.46103.67 ± 10.95
341994-06-21M12.52006-12-21T0Mother1010.70 ± 22.34416.71172.33 ± 50.68
13.02007-06-13T6739.31 ± 3.43499.0493.55 ± 6.90
13.62008-01-23T13 777.22 ± 39.78448.93 92.70 ± 21.91
35 (605)1995-03-31M11.82006-12-21T0Mother1126.22 ± 46.08552.37163.66 ± 0.79 
35 (604)1995-03-31M11.82006-12-21T0Mother 933.16 ± 14.20437.43118.57 ± 6.65 
351993-05-12F13.62006-12-21T0Mother1679.45 436.58128.45 ± 17.60
361998-09-06M8.32007-01-10T0Mother1520.81 ± 20.48485.39225.68 ± 85.59
9.22007-11-14T101103.50 ± 27.07899.87114.96 ± 0.11 
372001-07-11F5.52007-01-17T0Mother 419.51 ± 10.21524.0235.52 ± 0.52
6.02007-07-04T6 606.10 ± 14.32490.91209.23
381995-01-19M12.02007-01-17T0Mother435.87 ± 7.38600.34164.49 ± 10.01
381992-08-02F14.42007-01-17T0Mother 328.67 ± 25.67564.58166.19 ± 2.53 
391996-06-08M10.62007-01-24T0Mother 437.90 ± 23.91529.14215.53 ± 70.15
11.12007-07-18T6617.26 ± 5.45445.15146.08 ± 8.82 
391997-08-08F9.42007-01-24T0Mother 399.82 ± 14.71452.3871.339 ± 22.51
9.92007-07-18T6648.28 ± 6.30462.01188.78 ± 12.79
401996-05-05F10.92007-04-05T0Mother986.26 ± 9.88478.2799.9
401999-04-23M8.02007-04-05T0Mother851.99 ± 4.04710.05 52.81 ± 12.17
411995-03-29F12.22007-05-30T0Father 500.68 ± 20.08416.5671.27 ± 0.30
421996-07-03M10.82007-05-02T0Father 391.38 ± 30.03620.65 32.83
11.32007-11-14T6393.23 ± 4.22445.78167.25 ± 27.97
421992-04-14F15.12007-05-02T0Father452.43 ± 1.68519.81 38.46 ± 16.02
15.62007-11-14T6658.95 ± 1.62938.89232.91 ± 2.00 
432001-11-20F5.52007-05-23T0Mother 892.70 ± 21.23484.89 97.65 ± 30.81
441995-09-11M11.82007-06-13T0Mother1058.59 ± 6.11 547.8 41.15 ± 11.08
12.22007-12-12T61160.10 ± 16.16456.22145.61 ± 51.30
451994-05-10F13.22007-08-29T0Mother714.66 ± 6.88482.12120.00 ± 13.64
13.82008-02-13T6 801.53 ± 42.46358.64134.84 ± 16.18
461999-11-04M7.82007-09-12T0Mother 603.75 ± 10.96569.62111.95 ± 5.86 
40 (980)1996-04-15F11.42007-09-13T0Mother 504.38 ± 35.85540.29118.25 ± 9.11 
46 (982)2004-01-24F3.72007-09-12T0Mother 718.72 ± 78.98510.97153.13 ± 4.50 
471996-12-07F10.82007-10-17T0Mother1010.10 ± 17.02494.12147.00 ± 87.36
471999-04-03M8.52007-10-17T0Mother 844.83 ± 30.84456.7156.33 ± 50.36
C61997-02-06F10.32007-05-22T0Mother669.60 ± 4.19755.65133.68 ± 4.10 
11.02008-01-16T8 733.30 ± 11.16620.67250.52 ± 38.11
C151997-05-27M10.02007-06-06T0Brother441.81 ± 0.64640.33106.53 ± 1.88 
10.52007-12-04T6444.69 ± 3.82958.24151.86 ± 17.41
*Plus-minus values are means ± standard deviations.
†All subjects are examined before sample collection by an orthopedic surgeon to monitor possible scoliosis development.

EXAMPLE 11

OPN, sCD44 and HA Levels in Non AIS Scoliotic Patients

OPN levels were measured in non AIS scoliotic patients (NAIS patients). Results are summarized in Table 9 below. A comparison of OPN, sCD44 and HA levels in healthy, AIS and NAIS patients is also provided in FIG. 12.

TABLE 9
Biomarkers Comparison of non-AIS scoliotic Patients.
Characteristics
Mean OPNMean sCD44Mean HA
Mean AgeMean CobbConcentrationConcentrationConcentration
Type of ScoliosisNumber(Years)Angle(ng/ml)(ng/ml)(ng/ml)
Neurological812.3 ± 3.779.4 ± 15.1982 ± 452274 ± 196127 ± 101
Scoliosis
Congenital Scoliosis810.0 ± 4.451.8 ± 18.11016 ± 400 432 ± 79 123 ± 80 
Spondylolisthesis517.5 ± 2.121.0 ± 17.0832 ± 125386 ± 19376 ± 54
Kyphosis Scoliosis514.4 ± 2.880.2 ± 28.5923 ± 393352 ± 62 91 ± 56
Other*215.174.5 ± 17.7586 ± 52 240NA
†Plus-minus values are means ± standard deviations
*Other scoliosis types include one neuromuscular scoliosis and one dysplasic scoliosis.

Table 10 below presents in detail biomarkers levels for non AIS scoliotic patients.

TABLE 10
Clinical and biochemical profiles of non AIS scoliotic patients.
Cobb's
PatientCollectionAngleCurve
IDDate of BirthGenderAgeDateDiagnosisPre-opType
12081990-01-19M17.82007-10-03Congenital cyphose scoliosis72lT
12561992-03-27M13.02005-05-09Congenital scoliosis44-65rTlL
12781998-07-22F6.82005-05-30Congenital neurological60lT
scoliosis
12811985-05-21M20.12005-06-01Spondylolisthesis16
12861990-05-08M15.12005-06-15Dysplasic scoliosis62-66rTlL
13561993-02-22F13.22006-04-03Congenital scoliosis75rT
13582003-11-09M2.42006-04-04Congenital scoliosis33-35rTlL
13671993-12-12F12.42006-02-01Neurological scoliosis90lTL
13681990-06-21F15.92006-05-02Neurological cyphosis50lTL
13701995-09-15M10.72006-05-09Neurological scoliosis65rT
13751992-09-13F13.72006-05-30Congenital scoliosis53rTL
14071990-12-22M16.82007-10-31Spondylolisthesis 9lL
14311987-11-23M19.22007-01-08Neurological scoliosis90-90rTlT
14321992-08-08M14.42007-01-09Neurological scoliosis64rT
14341994-08-07F12.42007-01-10Congenital scoliosis79-77rTlL
14361993-02-16F13.92007-01-22Cyphose scoliosis120 
14371992-11-06M14.22007-02-05Neurological scoliosis100 NA
14551996-12-14F10.32007-04-03Congenital cyphose scoliosis61lTL
14561990-10-03F16.52007-04-17Neuromuscular scoliosis87rTL
14621997-10-22F9.52007-04-23Neurological scoliosis76lTL
14631989-03-19F18.12007-04-24Scoliosis + Spondylolisthesis33rT
14661997-08-24F9.82007-05-08Congenital scoliosis39rL
14751993-05-25M14.12007-06-05Cyphose scoliosis98
14791996-01-24F11.42007-06-05Neurological scoliosis90rTlL
14802003-06-13F4.02007-06-18Congenital scoliosis56lT
14821989-03-30F18.22007-06-19Spondylolisthesis gr 1NA
14861993-01-15M14.42007-06-27Spondylolisthesis gr 2NA
 3571996-07-08F11.42007-12-18Congenital scoliosis30-31rTlT
PatientDate ofAge atFamily[sCD44][HA]
IDSurgerySurgeryHistory[OPN] (ng/ml)(ng/ml)(ng/ml)
12082004-11-14.81101.06 ± 31.26444.81 82.89 ± 15.11
08
12562005-03-13.01490.59NA127.74 ± 9.29 
29
12782005-05-6.81401.88NA75.65 ± 5.16
30
12812005-06-20.1 985.85NA150.30 ± 7.93 
01
12862005-06-15.1549.60 ± 5.06NANA
15
13562006-04-13.21181.85NA111.51 ± 2.30 
03
13582006-04-2.41530.6 NA284.60 ± 69.00
04
13672006-05-12.41525.13NA350.01 ± 36.55
01
13682006-05-15.91079.23NA126.44 ± 3.63 
02
13702006-05-10.71318.58NA104.06 ± 5.18 
09
13752006-05-13.7Cousin 380.08 ± 12.95NANA
30
14072006-09-15.8818.17 ± 1.52441.73116.09 ± 3.88 
25
14312007-01-19.2 450.78 ± 101.56275.62130.30 ± 23.92
08
14322007-01-14.4558.47 ± 4.70145.15 98.99 ± 13.92
09
14342007-01-12.4631.59 ± 7.42325.9544.79 ± 5.73
10
14362007-01-13.9220.32 ± 2.94322.0344.34 ± 6.37
22
14372007-02-14.2388.01 ± 8.22225.7176.96 ± 4.53
05
14552007-04-10.31090.51 ± 5.57 323.2434.79 ± 0.32
03
14562007-04-16.5622.46 ± 7.15240.22NA
17
14622007-04-9.51118.25 ± 1.32 607.155.90 ± 1.82
23
14632007-04-18.1751.54 ± 8.69284.7121.56 ± 4.58
24
14662007-05-9.81110.01 ± 2.38 510.1847.07 ± 1.48
08
14752007-06-14.11123.49 ± 5.56 319.93166.63 ± 34.63
04
14792007-06-11.4 1098.54 ± 131.44119.17NA
05
14802007-06-4.0809.8468.03120.72 ± 40.73
18
14822007-06-18.2 678.49 ± 18.32187.4846.07 ± 5.27
19
14862007-06-14.4 924.40 ± 17.16628.7847.06 ± 6.84
27
 357996.58 ± 8.51423.72127.33 ± 3.13 
*Plus-minus values are means ± standard deviations.
†Curve type nomenclature: r, right/l, left/T, Thoracic/L, Lumbar/TL, Thoracolumbar/C, Cervical

EXAMPLE 12

OPN and sCD44 Levels in AIS Patients Pre and Post Operations

OPN levels were measured in AIS patients pre (n=79) and post (N=28) operations. Interestingly, comparison of AIS patients in pre-operation vs. post operation showed a reduction in circulating OPN levels, which further support the role of OPN at the cellular level as mechanosensor (FIG. 13).

OPN were measured in AIS female patients pre (n=10) and post (N=10) treatment with braces. Similarly, sCD44 levels were measured in AIS female patients pre (n=15) and post (N=12) operations. Results are presented in FIG. 14.

A distribution of 12 AIS patients was also performed across the predefined cut-off zones pre-operation and post-operation. FIG. 15 shows 92% of the surgically treated patients had pre-operation OPN levels in the red-zone (>800 ng/mL of plasma OPN level), while the remaining 8% were in the yellow zone (700-800 ng/mL). No patients were in the green zone representing plasma OPN levels<700 ng/mL. This also shows a strong correlation between high OPN concentrations and the progression of scoliotic curves.

Panel B of FIG. 15 show that red zone patients who were treated surgically experienced a decline in OPN concentrations in the blood. 75% of the surgically treated patients fell into the green and yellow zones (800 ng/mL or less).

EXAMPLE 13

OPN Levels in AIS Patients with Various Types of Braces

OPN levels were also measured in AIS patients prior to being treated with brace (n=79) and after brace (N=28). Table 11 below also shows the effect of braces on biomarkers.

TABLE 11
Possible effects of brace treatment on biomarker concentrations.
Characteristics
Mean
MeanBraceMeanMean OPNMean sCD44Mean HA
AgeWearCobb'sConcentrationConcentrationConcentration
TreatmentNo.(Years)(Months)Angle(ng/ml)(ng/ml)(ng/ml)
Without Brace
Female19314.2 ± 2.1 30.9 ± 19.3809 ± 376474 ± 179108 ± 58
Male3614.8 ± 2.2 32.2 ± 21.11034 ± 376 492 ± 155126 ± 62
With Brace
(All Female)
All Braces2114.0 ± 1.812.021.2 ± 8.3664 ± 282483 ± 112118 ± 60
Combined
Boston513.0 ± 1.410.625.8 ± 4.4735 ± 358568 ± 184150 ± 57
SpineCor1414.5 ± 1.612.720.6 ± 8.7626 ± 279451 ± 81 108 ± 62
Charleston115.410.07.078153270
Providence19.71.020.0732547138
Night Brace
P-value‡0.0180.8790.608
*Plus-minus values are means ± standard deviations.
‡Statistical analysis to compare patients with or without brace was done by bilateral unpaired Student's T-test with equal variance. A difference was considered statistically significant with a p-value < 0.05.

A distribution of AIS patients across the predefined cut-off zones was also performed prior to being treated with bracing and after bracing. Eight patients were tested a certain number of months after bracing, namely for each of patients #1 to 8: 7, 7, 8, 22, 22, 22 and 26 months after bracing, respectively. FIG. 16 shows that prior to being treated with bracing (Panel A), 63% of these patients were in the red and yellow zones. A significant shift towards the green zone (<700 ng/mL) was observed, which is consistent with the trend observed in surgically treated patients, as presented in FIGS. 13-15.

EXAMPLE 14

Comparison of Selenium Levels in AIS Patients vs. Healthy Subjects

Selenium concentration was reported to be significantly decreased in plasma of AIS patients (42). Selenium and more specifically Se-methylselenocystein, an organoselenium naturally occurring in diet, are used to prevent metastasis in breast cancer as chemopreventive therapy by targeting OPN transcription (43-45).

Plasma selenium concentration was thus measured in pediatric populations (AIS vs. healthy controls) to determine whether or not low selenium levels correlate with higher OPN concentrations in AIS. Plasma selenium concentrations were determined by a fluorometric method using 2,3-diaminonaphthalene (DAN) (46, 47). Results presented in FIGS. 18 and 19 show a correlation between high OPN levels and low selenium levels in scoliotic and asymptomatic at risk children.

Although the present invention has been described hereinabove by way of specific embodiments thereof, it can be modified, without departing from the spirit and nature of the subject invention as defined in the appended claims.

REFERENCES

  • (1) Brodner W, Krepler P, Nicolakis M et al. Melatonin and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. J Bone Joint Surg Br 2000; 82(3):399-403.
  • (2) Lowe T G, Edgar M, Margulies J Y et al. Etiology of idiopathic scoliosis: current trends in research. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2000; 82-A(8):1157-1168.
  • (3) Veldhuizen A G, Wever D J, Webb P J. The aetiology of idiopathic scoliosis: biomechanical and neuromuscular factors. Eur Spine J 2000; 9(3):178-184.
  • (4) Miller N H. Cause and natural history of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Orthop Clin North Am 1999; 30(3):343-52, vii.
  • (5) Miller N H. Genetics of familial idiopathic scoliosis. Clin Orthop 2002; (401):60-64.
  • (6) Miller N H, Schwab D L, Sponseller P D, Manolio T A, Pugh E W, Wilson A P. Characterization of idiopathic scoliosis in a clinically well-defined population. Clin Orthop 2001; (392):349-357.
  • (7) Wise C A, Barnes R, Gillum J, Herring J A, Bowcock A M, Lovett M. Localization of susceptibility to familial idiopathic scoliosis. Spine 2000; 25(18):2372-2380.
  • (8) Moreau A, Wang D S, Forget S et al. Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Spine 2004.
  • (9) Denhardt D T, Noda M, O′Regan A W, Pavlin D, Berman J S. Osteopontin as a means to cope with environmental insults: regulation of inflammation, tissue remodeling, and cell survival. J Clin Invest 2001; 107(9):1055-1061.
  • (10) Mazzali M, Kipari T, Ophascharoensuk V, Wesson J A, Johnson R, Hughes J. Osteopontin—a molecule for all seasons. QJM 2002; 95(1):3-13.
  • (11) Lopez C A, Olson E S, Adams J C, Mou K, Denhardt D T, Davis R L. Osteopontin expression detected in adult cochleae and inner ear fluids. Hear Res 1995; 85(1-2):210-222.
  • (12) Simoneau M, Richer N, Mercier P, Allard P, Teasdale N. Sensory deprivation and balance control in idiopathic scoliosis adolescent. Exp Brain Res 2006; 170(4):576-582.
  • (13) Guo X, Chau W W, Hui-Chan C W, Cheung C S, Tsang W W, Cheng J C. Balance control in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis and disturbed somatosensory function. Spine 2006; 31(14):E437-E440.
  • (14) Weber B, Rosel M, Arch R, Moller P, Zoller M. Transient expression of CD44 variant isoforms in the ontogeny of the rat: ectoderm-, endoderm- and mesoderm-derived cells express different exon combinations. Differentiation 1996; 60(1):17-29.
  • (15) Panda D, Kundu G C, Lee B I et al. Potential roles of osteopontin and alphaVbeta3 integrin in the development of coronary artery restenosis after angioplasty. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1997; 94(17):9308-9313.
  • (16) Ruiz P, Schwarzler C, Gunthert U. CD44 isoforms during differentiation and development. Bioessays 1995; 17(1):17-24.
  • (17) Katagiri Y U, Sleeman J, Fujii H et al. CD44 variants but not CD44s cooperate with beta1-containing integrins to permit cells to bind to osteopontin independently of arginine-glycine-aspartic acid, thereby stimulating cell motility and chemotaxis. Cancer Res 1999; 59(1):219-226.
  • (18) Jalkanen S, Jalkanen M. Lymphocyte CD44 binds the COOH-terminal heparin-binding domain of fibronectin. J Cell Biol 1992; 116(3):817-825.
  • (19) Naujokas M F, Morin M, Anderson M S, Peterson M, Miller J. The chondroitin sulfate form of invariant chain can enhance stimulation of T cell responses through interaction with CD44. Cell 1993; 74(2):257-268.
  • (20) Weber G F, Ashkar S, Glimcher M J, Cantor H. Receptor-ligand interaction between CD44 and osteopontin (Eta-1). Science 1996; 271(5248):509-512.
  • (21) Bennett K L, Modrell B, Greenfield B et al. Regulation of CD44 binding to hyaluronan by glycosylation of variably spliced exons. J Cell Biol 1995; 131(6 Pt 1):1623-1633.
  • (22) Stamenkovic I, Aruffo A, Amiot M, Seed B. The hematopoietic and epithelial forms of CD44 are distinct polypeptides with different adhesion potentials for hyaluronate-bearing cells. EMBO J. 1991; 10(2):343-348.
  • (23) Komura K, Sato S, Fujimoto M, Hasegawa M, Takehara K. Elevated levels of circulating CD44 in patients with systemic sclerosis: association with a milder subset. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2002; 41(10):1149-1154.
  • (24) Scott D A, Stapleton J A, Palmer R M et al. Plasma concentrations of reputed tumor-associated soluble CD44 isoforms (v5 and v6) in smokers are dose related and decline on smoking cessation. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prey 2000; 9(11):1211-1214.
  • (25) Wang X, Jiang H, Raso J et al. Characterization of the scoliosis that develops after pinealectomy in the chicken and comparison with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in humans. Spine 1997; 22(22):2626-2635.
  • (26) von Gall C, Lewy A, Schomerus C et al. Transcription factor dynamics and neuroendocrine signalling in the mouse pineal gland: a comparative analysis of melatonin-deficient C57BL mice and melatonin-proficient C3H mice. Eur J Neurosci 2000; 12(3):964-972.
  • (27) Aherrahrou Z, Axtner S B, Kaczmarek P M et al. A locus on chromosome 7 determines dramatic up-regulation of osteopontin in dystrophic cardiac calcification in mice. Am J Pathol 2004; 164(4):1379-1387.
  • (28) Machida M, Dubousset J, Yamada T et al. Experimental scoliosis in melatonin-deficient C57BL/6J mice without pinealectomy. J Pineal Res 2006; 41(1):1-7.
  • (29) Scoliosis Research Society. Morbidity & Mortality Committee annual report 1997.
  • (30) Mishima R, Takeshima F, Sawai T et al. High plasma osteopontin levels in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. J Clin Gastroenterol 2007; 41(2):167-172.
  • (31) Ang C, Chambers A F, Tuck A B, Winquist E, Izawa J I. Plasma osteopontin levels are predictive of disease stage in patients with transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. BJU Int 2005; 96(6):803-805.
  • (32) Wong C K, Lit L C, Tam L S, Li E K, Lam C W. Elevation of plasma osteopontin concentration is correlated with disease activity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2005; 44(5):602-606.
  • (33) Kim J, Ki S S, Lee S D et al. Elevated plasma osteopontin levels in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Am J Gastroenterol 2006; 101(9):2051-2059.
  • (34) Wynne-Davies R. Familial (idiopathic) scoliosis. A family survey. J Bone Joint Surg Br 1968; 50(1):24-30.
  • (35) De George F V, Fisher R L. Idiopathic scoliosis: genetic and environmental aspects. J Med Genet. 1967; 4(4):251-257.
  • (36) Lein M, Jung K, Weiss S, Schnorr D, Loening S A. Soluble CD44 variants in the serum of patients with urological malignancies. Oncology 1997; 54(3):226-230.
  • (37) Karjalainen J M, Tammi R H, Tammi M I et al. Reduced level of CD44 and hyaluronan associated with unfavorable prognosis in clinical stage I cutaneous melanoma. Am J Pathol 2000; 157(3):957-965.
  • (38) Schlosser W, Gansauge F, Schlosser S, Gansauge S, Beger H G. Low serum levels of CD44, CD44v6, and neopterin indicate immune dysfunction in chronic pancreatitis. Pancreas 2001; 23(4):335-340.
  • (39) Sjoberg S, Fogelstrand L, Hulthe J, Fagerberg B, Krettek A. Circulating soluble CD44 is higher among women than men and is not associated with cardiovascular risk factors or subclinical atherosclerosis. Metabolism 2005; 54(2):139-141.
  • (40) Jenkins R H, Thomas G J, Williams J D, Steadman R. Myofibroblastic differentiation leads to hyaluronan accumulation through reduced hyaluronan turnover. J Biol Chem 2004; 279(40):41453-41460.
  • (41) Lien Y H, Fu J, Rucker R B, Scheck M, Abbott U, Stern R. Collagen, proteoglycan and hyaluronidase activity in cultures from normal and scoliotic chicken fibroblasts. Biochim Biophys Acta 1990; 1034(3):318-325.
  • (42) Dastych M, Cienciala J. Idiopathic scoliosis and concentrations of zinc, copper, and selenium in blood plasma. Biol Trace Elem Res 2002; 89(2):105-110.
  • (43) El-Bayoumy K, Sinha R. Molecular chemoprevention by selenium: a genomic approach. Mutat Res 2005; 591(1-2):224-236.
  • (44) Unni E, Kittrell F S, Singh U, Sinha R. Osteopontin is a potential target gene in mouse mammary cancer chemoprevention by Se-methylselenocysteine. Breast Cancer Res 2004; 6(5):R586-R592.
  • (45) He Y T, Liu D W, Ding L Y, Li Q, Xiao Y H. Therapeutic effects and molecular mechanisms of anti-fibrosis herbs and selenium on rats with hepatic fibrosis. World J Gastroenterol 2004; 10(5):703-706.
  • (46) Sheehan T M, Gao M. Simplified fluorometric assay of total selenium in plasma and urine. Clin Chem 1990; 36(12):2124-2126.
  • (47) Ando M, Takizawa M, Suwabe S, Yamato S, Shimada K. Determination of selenium in human serum by liquid chromatography/electron capture atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry after acid digestion and derivatization using 2,3-diaminonaphthalene. Eur J Mass Spectrom (Chichester, Eng) 2003; 9(6):619-622.
  • (48) Uchio E, Matsuura N, Kadonosono K, Ohno S, Uede T. Tear osteopontin levels in patients with allergic conjunctival diseases. Graefes ArCh Clin Exp Opthalmol, 2002; 240(11): 924-8.
  • (49) Buck et al. Design Strategies and Performance of Custom DNA Sequencing primers. Biotechniques 1999; 27:528-536.
  • (50) Ponta, H, Sherman L, Herrlich, P A. CD44: from Adhesion molecules to signalling regulators. Nature Reviews. 2004; 4:33-45.
  • (51) Garrett, K. A., P. D. Esker, and A. H. Sparks. 2007. Introduction to the R Programming Environment. The Plant Health Instructor. DOI:10.1094/PHI-A-2007-1226-02.
  • (52) Ihaka R, Gentleman R. A language for data analysis and graphics. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics1996, 5(3):299-314.
  • (53) Goodison S, and Tarin D. Clinical Implications Of Anomalous Cd44 Gene Expression In Neoplasia. Frontiers in Bioscience 1998, 3, e89-109.
  • (54) Ito T, Hashimoto Y, Tanaka E, Kan T, Tsunoda S, Sato F, Higashiyama M, Okumura T, Shimada Y. An Inducible Short-Hairpin RNAVector against Osteopontin Reduces Metastatic Potential of Human Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma In vitro and In vivo Clin Cancer Res 2006; 12(4) 1308-1316.
  • (55) Kadkol S S, Lin A Y, Barak V, Kalickman I, Leach L, Valyi-Nagy K, Majumdar D, Setty S, Maniotis A J, Folberg R, Pe'er J. Osteopontin Expression and Serum Levels in Metastatic Uveal Melanoma A Pilot Study Invest Opthalmol V is Sci. 2006; 47(3): 802-806.
  • (56) Guarino V, Faviana P, Salvatore G, Castellone M D, Cirafici A, De Falco V, Celetti A, Giannini R, Basolo F, Melillo R M, Santoro M. Osteopontin Is Overexpressed in Human Papillary Thyroid Carcinomas and Enhances Thyroid Carcinoma Cell Invasiveness. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2005 90(9):5270-5278.
  • (57) Ponta et al, Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2003 January; 4(1):33-45. Review.