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Keywords:

  • aging;
  • bone;
  • fat;
  • obesity;
  • osteoporosis

Kawai M, de Paula FJA, Rosen CJ (Osaka Medical Center and Research Institute for Maternal and Child Health, Izumi, Osaka, Japan; University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil; and Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Scarborough, ME, USA). New insights into osteoporosis: the bone–fat connection (Review). J Intern Med 2012; 272: 317–329.

Abstract.  Osteoporosis and obesity are chronic disorders that are both increasing in prevalence. The pathophysiology of these conditions is multifactorial and includes genetic, environmental and hormonal determinants. Although it has long been considered that these are distinct disorders rarely found in the same individual, emerging evidence from basic and clinical studies support an important interaction between adipose tissue and the skeleton. It is proposed that adiposity may influence bone remodelling through three mechanisms: (i) secretion of cytokines that directly target bone, (ii) production of adipokines that influence the central nervous system thereby changing sympathetic impulses to bone and (iii) paracrine influences on adjacent skeletal cells. Here we focus on the current understanding of bone–fat interactions and the clinical implications of recent studies linking obesity to osteoporosis.