Broadening the role of osteocalcin in hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis

in Journal of Endocrinology
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  • 1 C Shan, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine Affiliated Renji Hospital, Shanghai, 200127, China
  • 2 J Yue, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine Affiliated Renji Hospital, Shanghai, China
  • 3 W Liu, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China

Correspondence: Wei Liu, Email: sue_liuwei@163.com
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Bone is emerging as a versatile endocrine organ and its interactions with apparently unrelated organs are being more widely recognized. Osteocalcin (OCN), a polypeptide hormone secreted by osteoblasts, has been found to exert multiple endocrine functions through its metabolically active form, uncarboxylated OCN (uOCN). Mounting evidence has shown that following its binding to G-protein coupled receptor 6a (Gprc6a) in the peripheral tissues, uOCN acts on pancreatic β cells to increase insulin secretion, and on muscle and white adipose tissue to promote glucose and lipid metabolism. More strikingly, researchers have found a surprising role of uOCN in testicular function to facilitating testosterone biosynthesis and regulating male fertility via a pancreas-bone-gonadal axis. However, the detailed functional mechanisms of uOCN on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis or the pancreas-bone-gonadal axis are not fully understood. Besides highlighting the regulatory mechanisms of uOCN in the central nervous system, hypothalamus and pituitary, we also discuss its role in male as well as female fertility and its potential clinical implications in some reproductive endocrine diseases and pubertal developmental disorders.

 

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