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Oct 25, 2011

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Influence of adipokines and ghrelin on bone mineral density and fracture risk

Adipose tissue may regulate bone metabolism and be involved in osteoporosis pathophysiology. Adiponectin and leptin are adipokine hormones, synthesized by adipocytes. Leptin plays a particular role in weight and appetite regulation. Adiponectin regulates metabolism and inflammatory pathways. Ghrelin is a growth hormone secretagogue implicated in fat mass and appetite regulation. Epidemiological data have established positive relationships between fat mass and bone mineral density (BMD). Using systematic review and meta-analysis, the authors of this study [1] tested the association and correlation of adipokines (adiponectin, leptin) and ghrelin serum level with bone mineral density and fracture risk.

Fifty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. The authors found that leptin, an adipokine hormone, is positively associated with bone mineral density, in particular for postmenopausal women. High levels of leptin could also be predictive of lower risk of fractures. On the contrary, high levels of adiponectin, an another adipokine, is associated with low bone mineral density in men and women. High adiponectin serum concentration may be predictive of high risk of vertebral fractures in men only. No effect of ghrelin concentration has been associated with bone mineral density.

  1. Biver E et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96:2703-2713.

This publication is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Servier