Send to

Choose Destination
Endocrinology. 2012 May;153(5):2070-5. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-1022. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Minireview: The link between fat and bone: does mass beget mass?

Author information

Mount Sinai Bone Program and Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Osteoporosis is less common in individuals with high fat mass. This putative osteoprotection is likely an adaptive mechanism that allows obese individuals to better carry their increased body mass. Recent studies have focused on hormones that link fat to bone. Adipokines, such as leptin, modulate bone cells through both direct and indirect actions, whereas molecules activating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ drive mesenchymal stem cell differentiation towards adipocytes away from the osteoblastic lineage. There is emerging evidence that bone-derived osteocalcin regulates insulin release and insulin sensitivity and, hence, might indirectly affect fat mass. Despite these molecular connections between fat and bone, animal and human studies call into question a primary role for body fat in determining bone mass. Mice devoid of fat do not have a skeletal phenotype, and in humans, the observed correlations between bone and body mass are not just due to adipose tissue. An improved understanding of the integrative physiology at the fat-bone interface should allow us develop therapies for both osteoporosis and obesity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center