Impaired Energetic Metabolism After Central Leptin Signaling Leads to Massive Appendicular Bone Loss in Hindlimb-Suspended Rats


  • The authors state that they have no conflicts of interest.


We previously showed in rats that the leptin effects on bone were dose dependent. Positive effects were observed when serum leptin concentration was in a physiological range. In contrast, important increases in serum leptin levels led to negative effects on bone formation similar to those reported after intracerebroventricular leptin administration in mice. To clarify whether leptin effects on bone depend on administration route and/or animal model, female rats were hindlimb unloaded or not and treated either with intracerebroventricular infusion of leptin or vehicle for 14 days. By increasing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leptin concentration, intracerebroventricular infusion of leptin significantly reduced food intake and consequently body weight, abdominal fat, and lean mass of the animals. Leptin infusion inhibited bone elongation over the 14 days and blunted cortical bone thickening at the femoral diaphysis site. Interestingly, leptin effects were site dependent in the cancellous bone envelopes, because tibia metaphysis BMD was lower and lumbar spine BMD was higher under intracerebroventricular leptin. Treated groups showed reduced bone remodeling independently of hindlimb unloading. Multiple downstream pathways were implicated in the mediation of these negative leptin effects on bone including not only stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system but also a decrease in somatotropic axis activity. Therefore, the intracerebroventricular leptin-induced bone loss could be largely related to the concurrent alteration of energetic and metabolic status. In summary, our study supports the hypothesis of a concentration-dependent balance between peripheral and central control of leptin on bone.