TitleEffects of increased hypothalamic leptin gene expression on ovariectomy-induced bone loss in rats.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsJackson, MA, Iwaniec, UT, Turner, RT, Wronski, TJ, Kalra, SP
Date Published2011 Aug

Estrogen deficiency results in accelerated bone turnover with a net increase in bone resorption. Subcutaneous administration of leptin attenuates bone loss in ovariectomized (ovx) rats by reducing bone resorption. However, in addition to its direct beneficial effects, leptin has been reported to have indirect (central nervous system-mediated) antiosteogenic effects on bone, which may limit the efficacy of elevated serum leptin to prevent estrogen deficiency-associated bone loss. The present study evaluated the long-term effects of increased hypothalamic leptin transgene expression, using recombinant adeno-associated virus-leptin (rAAV-Lep) gene therapy, on bone mass, architecture, and cellular endpoints in sexually mature ovx Sprague-Dawley rats. Ovx rats were implanted with cannulae in the 3rd ventricle of the hypothalamus and injected with either rAAV-Lep or rAAV-GFP (control vector encoding green fluorescent protein) and maintained for 10 weeks. Additional controls consisted of ovary-intact rats and ovx rats pair-fed to rAAV-Lep rats. Lumbar vertebrae were analyzed by micro-computed tomography and tibiae by histomorphometry. Cancellous bone volume was lower and osteoclast perimeter, osteoblast perimeter, and bone marrow adipocyte density were greater in ovx rats compared to ovary-intact controls. In contrast, differences among ovx groups were not detected for any endpoint evaluated. In conclusion, whereas estrogen deficiency resulted in marked cancellous osteopenia, increased bone turnover and marrow adiposity, increasing hypothalamic leptin transgene expression in ovx rats had neither detrimental nor beneficial effects on bone mass, architecture, or cellular endpoints. These findings demonstrate that the antiresorptive effects of subcutaneous leptin administration in ovx rats are mediated through leptin targets in the periphery.