Background: Hereditary Multiple Exostoses (HME) is a rare autosomal disorder characterized by the presence of multiple exostoses (osteochondromas) caused by a heterozygous loss of function mutation in EXT1 or EXT2; genes involved in heparan sulfate (HS) chain elongation. Considering that HS and other glycosaminoglycans play an important role in sodium and water homeostasis, we hypothesized that HME patients have perturbed whole body volume regulation and osmolality in response to high sodium conditions. Methods: We performed a randomized cross-over study in 7 male HME patients and 12 healthy controls, matched for age, BMI, blood pressure and renal function. All subjects followed both an 8-day low sodium diet (LSD, <50 mmol/d) and high sodium diet (HSD, >200 mmol/d) in randomized order. After each diet, blood and urine samples were collected. Body fluid compartment measurements were performed by using the distribution curve of iohexol and 125I-albumin. Results: In HME patients, HSD resulted in significant increase of intracellular fluid volume (ICFV) (1.2 L, p = 0.01). In this group, solute-mediated water clearance was significantly lower after HSD, and no changes in interstitial fluid volume (IFV), plasma sodium, and effective osmolality were observed. In healthy controls, HSD did not influence ICFV, but expanded IFV (1.8 L, p = 0.058) and increased plasma sodium and effective osmolality. Conclusion: HME patients show altered body fluid distribution and osmoregulation after HSD compared to controls. Our results might indicate reduced interstitial sodium accumulation capacity in HME, leading to ICFV increase. Therefore, this study provides additional support that HS is crucial for maintaining constancy of the internal environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100797
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Heparan sulfate
  • Hereditary Multiple Exostoses
  • Osmoregulation
  • Sodium
  • Water balance

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