Only three decades ago adipose tissue was considered inert, with little relationship to insulin resistance. Similarly, bone has long been thought of purely in its structural context. In the last decade, emerging evidence has revealed important endocrine roles for both bone and adipose tissue. The interaction between these two tissues is remarkable. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells give rise to both osteoblasts and adipocytes. Leptin and adiponectin, two adipokines secreted by fat tissue, control energy homeostasis, but also have complex actions on the skeleton. In turn, the activities of bone cells are not limited to their bone remodelling activities but also to modulation of adipose cell sensitivity and insulin secretion. This review will discuss these new insights linking bone remodelling to the control of fat metabolism and the association between diabetes mellitus and osteoporosis. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.