Objective: Osteoporosis is the most common skeletal disease world-wide. The aim of this study is to identify potential circRNA biomarkers for osteoporosis diagnosis and treatment, as well as their roles in regulating osteogenic differentiation.

Results: Hsa_circ_0076690 expression was significantly decreased in osteoporosis patients compared to control and showed an acceptable diagnostic value in clinical samples. Subsequently, hsa_circ_0076690 was identified to act as a sponge of miR-152. The expression of hsa_circ_0076690 was gradually increased during osteogenic differentiation while miR-152 showed a decreased expression trend. Moreover, osteogenic differentiation was promoted by hsa_circ_0076690 over-expression and remain unchanged by miR-152/hsa_circ_0076690 co-overexpression.

Conclusions: In conclusion, our study revealed that hsa_circ_0076690 may act as a potential diagnostic biomarker for osteoporosis patients and hsa_circ_0076690 could regulate osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs via sponging miR-152.

Materials and methods: A total of 114 participants were enrolled in this study with ethics approvals. CircRNAs were identified by means of RNA-sequencing and qRT-PCR experiment. The clinical significance was measured by ROC curve analysis. Target relationship was validated by luciferase reporter assay. The osteogenic-associated biomarkers and ALP activity were detected by western blots.