Bone and glucose metabolism: a two-way street

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2010 Nov 1;503(1):2-10. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Aug 1.


Evidence from rodent models indicates that undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC), a product of osteoblasts, is a hormone affecting insulin production by the pancreas and insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues, at least in part through enhanced secretion of adiponectin from adipocytes. Clinical research to test whether this relationship is found in humans is just beginning to emerge. Cross-sectional studies confirm associations between total osteocalcin (OC), ucOC and glucose metabolism but cannot distinguish causality. To date, longitudinal studies have not provided a consistent picture of the effects of ucOC or OC on fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity. Further exploration into the physiological and mechanistic effects of ucOC and OC, in rodent models and clinical studies, is necessary to determine to what extent the skeleton regulates energy metabolism in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Bone and Bones / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Osteocalcin / metabolism


  • Osteocalcin
  • Glucose