Original Paper

Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 240-248

First online:

Adipokine Effects on Bone

  • Ian R. ReidAffiliated withFaculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland Email author 
  • , J. B. RichardsAffiliated withDepartments of Medicine and Human Genetics, Lady Davis Institute, McGill UniversityDepartment of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, St. Thomas’ Hospital

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The adipocyte is an important source of factors that act as circulating regulators of bone metabolism. These include estrogens, and the adipokines, leptin, resistin, adiponectin, and probably others. Leptin acts directly on bone cells, and in some experimental models these effects are modified by its actions on the central nervous system, which impact on appetite, body weight, and insulin sensitivity. While not strictly an adipokine, insulin circulates in increased concentrations in obesity and exerts anabolic effects on bone. Adipokine levels correlate with bone turnover, suggesting that they dynamically influence bone metabolism. In postmenopausal women, they may be among the principal regulators of bone turnover, accounting for their increasing importance as determinants of bone density with age. Of the adipokines, adiponectin appears to have the strongest relationships with bone parameters in postmenopausal women.


Adiponectin Leptin Insulin Fat Lean Resistin