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Orthop Surg. 2012 May;4(2):114-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1757-7861.2012.00180.x.

Bone delivers its energy information to fat and islets through osteocalcin.

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  • 1Laboratory of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.


Bone has emerged as a novel endocrine organ for its ability to produce hormones and involvement in several regulatory feedback loops. Osteocalcin (OCN) is released into bloodstream during bone resorption and has been demonstrated to exert endocrine regulation on islets, fat and male testis to form feedback loops. We hypothesize that bone delivers its energy metabolism signals to related energy-regulating organs through OCN based on the following evidence: First, OCN has close interactions with islets and fat, and it shows ability to stimulate islets and fat to secret insulin and adiponectin, respectively. Islets and fat are important organs involved in energy metabolism. Second, OCN undergoes physiological fluctuations during a lifetime. In children and adolescents, during the development of osteoporosis or after bone fracture, OCN level increases significantly. The elevated OCN at these stages represents enhanced bone turnover and metabolic activity, which require more energy supply. Therefore, the metabolic activity of bone and the energy-related organs like fat and islets are closely linked by circulating OCN. Through systemic release of OCN, bone delivers its energy-demanding information to other organs to satisfy its energy requirement.

© 2012 Tianjin Hospital and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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