Believe it or not! Your bones are endocrine glands. Many people think that our bony skeleton is only for supporting muscles and protecting vital organs, but this is not all. Our skeleton synthesizes and produces hormones as well.
They have an effect on the appetite and metabolism. Moreover, this hormone (osteocalcin) has a significant and high biological value.
The new study on bones
According to the recent study from Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM), the hormone (osteocalcin) produced by bones, affects the metabolism of fat and sugar.
Dr. Ferron, director of the IRCM’s Integrative and Molecular Physiology Research Unit, has studied a hormone called osteocalcin over the last 10 years (the last decade). This hormone Produced by our bones, and it played a role in sugar and fat metabolism.
This study was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Scientists think this discovery opens the door to new ways of preventing type 2 diabetes and obesity in the future.
Dr. Ferron said, “Just think about how women are more prone to suffer from osteoporosis when they reach menopause because their estrogen levels drop,”.
He continues, “One of the osteocalcin’s functions is to increase insulin production, which in turn reduces blood glucose levels, it can also protect us from obesity by increasing energy expenditure.”
Researchers say that changes in the blood level of osteocalcin hormone may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in some people.
The mechanism of action of osteocalcin hormone (OCN)
The bones have an osteogenic cell (bone formation cells) called osteoblasts. These cells are also responsible for synthesizing and producing osteocalcin hormone. After producing the hormone, it diffuses to the blood.
Dr. Ferron explained, “When it is first produced in osteoblasts, osteocalcin is in an inactive form. What interested us was understanding how osteocalcin becomes active so as to be able to play its role when released into the blood.”
They found out an Enzyme called Furin in mice. This enzyme is responsible for activating the inactive osteocalcin hormone before it diffuses into the blood.
“We demonstrated that when there was no furin in bone cells, inactive osteocalcin built up and was still released, but this led to an increase in blood glucose levels and a reduction in energy expenditure and insulin production,” Ferron said.
Osteocalcin hormone and the appetite
Surprisingly, when the researchers removed the Furin from the body, they found that there are changes in appetite. And they explained, “We’re confident that the absence of furin was the cause,”.
They continue, “Our results suggest the existence of a new bone hormone that controls food intake. We hope to determine whether furin interacts with another protein involved in appetite regulation in the future.”
Finally, there should be more new studies to know more about this amazing hormone.
Omar Al Rifai,1,2 Jacqueline Chow,1 Julie Lacombe,1 Catherine Julien,1 Denis Faubert,3 Delia Susan-Resiga,4 Rachid Essalmani,4 John W.M. Creemers,5 Nabil G. Seidah,4,6,7 and Mathieu Ferron” Proprotein convertase furin regulates osteocalcin and bone endocrine function”