Y2 and Y4 receptor signalling attenuates the skeletal response of central NPY

J Mol Neurosci. 2011 Feb;43(2):123-31. doi: 10.1007/s12031-010-9423-0. Epub 2010 Jul 16.


Both the neuropeptide Y (NPY) and the leptin systems have been shown to be important central mediators of bone metabolism. However, the interaction between these two systems is complex and not fully understood. Here, we show that a unique interaction exists between Y2 and Y4 receptors in the regulation of bone homeostasis that is not evident when combined with lack of Y1 signalling. Despite the hypoleptinaemia shown in male Y2/Y4 double knockout (Y2⁻/⁻ Y4⁻/⁻) mice, when on the leptin-deficient ob/ob background, these mice display reduced cancellous bone mass. However, combined Y2/Y4 deletion enhances the effect of leptin deficiency on the cortical bone compartment. By replicating the enhanced central NPY expression evident in ob/ob mice using virally mediated overexpression of NPY in the hypothalamus of Y receptor knockout mice, we demonstrate that Y2⁻/⁻ Y4⁻/⁻ mice have an exaggerated response to the anti-osteogenic effects of elevated hypothalamic NPY in both cancellous and cortical bone and that this effect appears to be dependent on Y1 receptor signalling. This study highlights the complex interaction between Y receptors in the control of bone mass. Moreover, it suggests that the reduction in cortical bone observed in the absence of leptin is due to the anti-osteogenic effect of elevated hypothalamic NPY levels.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Homeostasis
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Obese
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / genetics
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Leptin
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide Y
  • neuropeptide Y2 receptor
  • neuropeptide Y4 receptor