TitleParadoxical effects of partial leptin deficiency on bone in growing female mice.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPhilbrick, KA, Turner, RT, Branscum, AJ, Wong, CP, Iwaniec, UT
JournalAnatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007)
Date Published2015 Dec

Morbidly obese, leptin-deficient ob/ob mice display low bone mass, mild osteoclast-rich osteopetrosis, and increased bone marrow adiposity. While partial leptin deficiency results in increased weight, the skeletal manifestations of partial leptin deficiency are less well defined. We therefore analyzed femora and lumbar vertebrae in growing (7-week-old) female C57BL/6 wildtype (WT) mice, partial leptin-deficient ob/+ mice, and leptin-deficient ob/ob mice. The bones were evaluated by dual energy absorptiometry, microcomputed tomography and histomorphometry. As expected, ob/+ mice were heavier, had more white adipose tissue, and lower serum leptin than WT mice, but were lighter and had less white adipose tissue than ob/ob mice. With a few exceptions, cancellous bone architecture, cell (osteoblast, osteoclast, and adipocyte), and dynamic measurements did not differ between WT and ob/+ mice. In contrast, compared to WT and ob/+ mice, ob/ob mice had lower cancellous bone volume fraction, and higher bone marrow adiposity in the femur metaphysis, and higher cancellous bone volume fraction in lumbar vertebra. Paradoxically, ob/+ mice had greater femoral bone volume than either WT or ob/ob mice. There was a positive correlation between body weight and femur volume in all three genotypes. However, the positive effect of weight on bone occurred with lower body weight in leptin-producing mice. The paradoxical differences in bone size among WT, ob/+, and ob/ob mice may be explained if leptin, in addition to stimulating bone growth and cancellous bone turnover, acts to lower the set-point at which increased body weight leads to a commensurate increase in bone size.