Bone mass is the single most important risk factor for osteoporotic fractures in the elderly and is mainly influenced by genetic factors accounting for 40-75% of the inter-individual variation. Critical for the bone remodeling process is the balance between the newly discovered members of the tumor necrosis factor ligand and receptor superfamilies, osteoprotegerin (OPG) and receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand, which mediate the effects of many upstream regulators of bone metabolism. In the present study, we evaluated the impact of sequence variations in the OPG gene on bone mass, bone-related biochemistry including serum OPG and fracture frequency in elderly Australian women. A total of 1101 women were genotyped for 3 different single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) within the OPG gene (G1181C, T950C and A163G). The effects of these SNPs and serum OPG on calcaneal quantitative ultrasound measurements, osteodensitometry of the hip and bone-related biochemistry were examined. We found no significant relationship between sequence variations in the OPG gene or serum OPG and bone mass, bone-related biochemistry or fracture frequency. Our findings confirm some recent publications investigating the same SNPs but diverge from others, indicating that generalization of the relationships found in this type of study must be done with caution and signify the importance of determining associations between polymorphisms and osteoporosis in different ethnic groups. (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier Inc.