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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Characterization of bone structure in leptin receptor-deficient Zucker (fa/fa) rats.

To investigate the role of leptin in bone formation, the skeleton of the obese female leptin receptor-deficient Zucker rat was examined using pQCT, microCT, and histomorphometry. A trend toward decreasing structural and bone formation parameters in these rats as they age suggest that leptin has a small positive effect on bone. INTRODUCTION: Evidence in the literature has suggested the possible role of leptin in bone formation. Leptin deficiency or leptin receptor deficiency results in higher bone mass. In an attempt to further investigate leptin's role in bone formation, we examined the skeleton of obese leptin receptor-deficient Zucker rats. METHODS: Female leptin receptor-deficient Zucker (fa/fa) rats and their homozygous (Fa/Fa) and heterozygous (Fa/fa) lean controls were used at 9 and 15 weeks of age (n = 5). Bone mineral density of the proximal tibia was measured by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT). Microcomputed tomography (microCT) was used for the analysis of trabecular architecture in the proximal tibia metaphysis and cortical bone at the tibia-fibula junction. Static and dynamic parameters of bone resorption and formation were quantitated by histomorphometry. Statistical analysis was performed by Dunnett's one-way ANOVA. RESULTS: Analysis of the proximal tibia by pQCT show no significant differences in the bone mineral density of obese rats compared with their corresponding lean controls in either age group. Trabecular architecture measured by microCT indicate a trends toward decreasing bone volume (BV/TV) in the obese animals, evident by a decrease in trabecular number and thickness with an increase in trabecular separation. Histomorphometric evaluation further shows significant increases in osteoclast surface in the obese rats at both 9 and 15 weeks without a change in osteoclast number. Osteoid surface in the obese animals was also found to be decreased by 15 weeks of age. Fluorescent-based measurements of bone formation were not significantly different. Differences in the cortical compartment were not observed at either age. CONCLUSION: Based on the observed skeletal phenotype of the Zucker (fa/fa) rat, it is suggested that leptin exerts a positive effect on bone.[1]


  1. Characterization of bone structure in leptin receptor-deficient Zucker (fa/fa) rats. Tamasi, J.A., Arey, B.J., Bertolini, D.R., Feyen, J.H. J. Bone Miner. Res. (2003) [Pubmed]
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