Post-menopausal osteoporosis is considered to be an inflammatory process, in which numerous pro-inflammatory and T-cell-derived cytokines play a bone-destructive role. IL-17A is the signature cytokine of the pro-inflammatory Th17 population and plays dichotomous roles in diseases that affect bone turnover. Although IL-17A promotes bone loss in rheumatoid arthritis, it is protective against pathogen-induced bone destruction in a periodontal disease model. We used a model of ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis (OVX) in IL-17 receptor (IL-17RA)(-/-) mice to evaluate the role of the IL-17A in bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency. Unexpectedly, IL-17RA(-/-) mice were consistently and markedly more susceptible to OVX-induced bone loss than controls. There were no changes in prototypical Th1, Th2 or Th17 cytokines in serum that could account for increased bone loss. However, IL-17RA(-/-) mice exhibited constitutively elevated leptin, which further increased following OVX. Consistently, IL-17A and IL-17F treatment of 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes inhibited adipogenesis, leading to reduced production of leptin. In addition to its role in regulating metabolism and satiety, leptin can regulate bone turnover. Accordingly, these data show that IL-17A negatively regulates adipogenesis and subsequent leptin expression, which correlates with increased bone destruction during OVX.