Leptin prevents the fall in plasma osteocalcin during starvation in male mice

A. P. Goldstone, J. K. Howard, G. M. Lord, M. A. Ghatei, J. V. Gardiner, Z. L. Wang, R. M. Wang, S. I. Girgis, C. J Bailey, S. R. Bloom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plasma osteocalcin, a marker of osteoblastic activity, is reduced in starvation, malnutrition, and anorexia nervosa, resulting in low bone turnover osteoporosis. Contradictory findings about the role of leptin as a link between nutritional status and bone physiology have been reported. We demonstrate that leptin-deficient ob/ob and leptin-resistant db/db male mice have increased plasma osteocalcin, and that in male ob/ob mice osteocalcin is not decreased by starvation, unlike control mice. Intraperitoneal leptin administration increased plasma osteocalcin in male ob/ob mice, and prevented its fall during 24 h fasting and 5 days of food restriction in normal male mice. This effect may be mediated via actions on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular or -growth hormone axes, or a direct action on osteoblasts. These studies support the hypothesis that the fall in leptin during starvation and weight loss is responsible for the associated reduction in osteoblast activity, and suggest a role for leptin in regulating bone turnover.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2002


  • leptin
  • obesity
  • osteoporosis
  • osteoblast
  • osteocalcin
  • starvation
  • fasting
  • bone
  • anorexia nervosa
  • testosterone


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