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Leptin Regulates Bone Remodelling

 
  February, 22 2005 8:10
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
New research into bone structure and function shows how the hormone leptin plays a vital role in these processes, and this new knowledge could help our understanding of osteoporosis, according to a paper published online by Nature this week.

Bone structure and function are maintained throughout life by bone remodelling, which involves an interplay of two functions: bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts. Gerard Karsenty and his colleagues show that leptin, best known as a hormone regulating body weight and gonadal function, can regulate bone resorption by acting on osteoclasts - cells that resorb bone - via two distinct and antagonistic pathways. In one pathway, sympathetic signalling promotes differentiation of osteoclasts. In the other pathway, a neuropeptide called CART inhibits osteoclast differentiation.

Blocking the molecules involved in the first pathway, and hence inhibiting bone resorption, could help prevent or manage bone loss, the authors speculate.

Author contact:

Gerard Karsenty
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX, USA
Tel: +1 713 798 5489
E-mail: karsenty@bcm.tmc.edu

Also available online.

(C) Nature press release.


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