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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2014 Jan 25;382(1):521-526. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2013.10.008. Epub 2013 Oct 19.

Regulation of male fertility by the bone-derived hormone osteocalcin.

Author information

1
Columbia University, Department of Genetics and Development, HHSC 1602, 701 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA. Electronic address: gk2172@columbia.edu.
2
Columbia University, Department of Genetics and Development, HHSC 1602, 701 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

Traditionally, bone has been viewed as a relatively static tissue only fulfilling mechanical and scaffolding function. In the past decade however, this classical view of the bone has considerably evolved towards a more complex picture. It is now clear that the skeleton is not only a recipient for hormonal input but it is also an endocrine organ itself. Through the secretion of an osteoblast-derived molecule, osteocalcin, the skeleton regulates glucose homeostasis and male reproductive functions. When undercarboxylated, osteocalcin acts following its binding to a G-coupled receptor, Gprc6a, on pancreatic β cells to increase insulin secretion, on muscle and white adipose tissue to promote glucose homeostasis and on Leydig cells of the testis to favor testosterone biosynthesis. More recently, it was also shown that osteocalcin acts via a pancreas-bone-testis axis that regulates, independently of and in parallel to the hypothalamus-pituitary-testis axis, male reproductive functions by promoting testosterone biosynthesis. Lastly, in trying to expand the biological relevance of osteocalcin from mouse to human, it was shown that Gprc6a is a potential new susceptibility locus for primary testicular failure in humans. Altogether, these results shed new light on the importance of the endocrine role of the skeleton and also provide credence to the search for additional endocrine functions of this organ.

KEYWORDS:

G-coupled receptor; Osteocalcin; Primary testicular failure; Testosterone

PMID:
24145129
PMCID:
PMC3850748
DOI:
10.1016/j.mce.2013.10.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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