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Central and peripheral mechanisms of the NPY system in the regulation of bone and adipose tissue.


Skeletal research is currently undergoing a period of marked expansion. The boundaries of ?bone? research are being re-evaluated and with this, a growing recognition of a more complex and interconnected biology than previously considered. One aspect that has become the focus of particular attention is the relationship between bone and fat homeostasis. Evidence from a number of avenues indicates that bone and adipose regulation are both related and interdependent. This review examines the neuropeptide Y (NPY) system, known to exert powerful control over both bone and fat tissue. The actions of this system are characterized by signaling both within specific nuclei of the hypothalamus and also the target tissues, mediated predominantly through two G-protein coupled receptors (Y1 and Y2). In bone tissue, elevated NPY levels act consistently to repress osteoblast activity. Moreover, both central Y2 receptor and osteoblastic Y1 receptor signaling act similarly to repress bone formation. Conversely, loss of NPY expression or receptor signaling induces increased osteoblast activity and bone mass in both cortical and cancellous envelopes. In fat tissue, NPY action is more complex. Energy homeostasis is powerfully altered by elevations in hypothalamic NPY, resulting in increases in fat accretion and body-wide energy conservation, through the action of locally expressed Y1 receptors, while local Y2 receptors act to inhibit NPY-ergic tone. Loss of central NPY expression has a markedly reduced effect, consistent with a physiological drive to promote fat accretion. In fat tissue, NPY and Y1 receptors act to promote lipogenesis, consistent with their roles in the brain. Y2 receptors expressed in adipocytes also act in this manner, showing an opposing action to their role in the hypothalamus. While direct investigation of these processes has yet to be completed, these responses appear to be interrelated to some degree. The starvation-based signal of elevated central NPY inducing marked inhibition of osteoblast activity, whilst promoting fat accretion, indicating skeletal tissue is a component of the energy conservation system. Moreover, when NPY expression is reduced, consistent with high calorie intake and weight gain, bone formation is stimulated, strengthening the skeleton. In conclusion, NPY acts to regulate both bone and fat tissue in a coordinated manner, and remains a strong candidate for mediating interactions between these two tissues.

Type Journal
Authors Shi, Y.C.; Baldock, P.A.
Responsible Garvan Author A/Prof Paul Baldock
Publisher Name BONE
Published Date 2012-08-01
Published Volume 50
Published Issue 2
Published Pages 430-6
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1016/j.bone.2011.10.001
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version