bones and metabolism

Most scientists believe the function of the bone is limited to support and mineral exchange.
A stimulating article in Nature discusses the possibility that bone remodelling be linked to metabolism. This makes real sense as metabolism is interconnected and a stand alone system cannot be efficient.
The article discusses the work generated by Karsenty and Ducy on this topic.
Bone remodelling includes both bone building by osteoblasts and removal by ostosclasts. This is an energy intensive process and interacts with metabolism in a number of ways. The hormone Leptin which is secreted by fat cells and affects appetite inhibits osteoblast formation and osteocalcin, a bone related protein production. Osteoblasts increase concentrations of inactive osteocalcin.
Bone removal activates osteocalcin. Osteocalcin stimulates pancreatic β-cells to produce insulin. And straight into metabolism.
Katsnelson 2010 The bones of contention. Nature vol 466 pp 914-915

Martin Eastwood
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