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Appetite Hormone Acts on Brain to Regulate Bone

Last Updated: September 04, 2009.

The fat hormone leptin regulates bone mass and suppresses appetite by acting through serotonin pathways in the brain, according to a study in the Sept. 4 issue of Cell.

FRIDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The fat hormone leptin regulates bone mass and suppresses appetite by acting through serotonin pathways in the brain, according to a study in the Sept. 4 issue of Cell.

Noting that leptin is known to regulate bone remodeling through the brain, Vijay K. Yadav, Ph.D., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues examined whether this regulation occurred via brain-derived serotonin using mice unable to produce serotonin specifically in the brain.

The researchers found that mice unable to make serotonin in the brain had lower bone mass, lower food intake, greater energy expenditure, and lower weight. In normal mice, leptin increased energy expenditure and reduced bone accumulation by reducing serotonin synthesis and firing of brain-derived serotonin neurons.

"These results reveal a different map of leptin action in the brain, expand the importance of brain-derived serotonin in physiology, [and] also identify a molecular basis for the common central control of bone mass and appetite," Yadav and colleagues conclude.

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