Bone is not just a passive scaffold that supports our body. It is also an active endocrine organ that secretes hormones that regulate various aspects of our physiology, from energy metabolism to brain function. One of these hormones is osteocalcin, which has been extensively studied by Gerard Karsently and his team at Columbia University. In this podcast, we will explore the fascinating discoveries that Karsently and his colleagues have made about osteocalcin and its role in health and disease.
Osteocalcin is a protein that is produced by bone cells called osteoblasts. It is then released into the bloodstream, where it can reach different organs and tissues and exert its effects. Osteocalcin has been shown to enhance insulin secretion by the pancreas, testosterone production by the testes, muscle function during exercise, memory formation and mood regulation by the brain, and even the ability to cope with stress. Osteocalcin also has anti-aging properties, as it can prevent or reverse some of the decline in physiological functions that occurs with age.
The levels of osteocalcin in the blood are not constant. They vary depending on several factors, such as diet, exercise, stress and age. These interactions create a complex network of communication between bone and other organs that helps to maintain homeostasis and adapt to changing conditions.
Karsently's research has opened new avenues for understanding the biology of bone and its impact on whole-body physiology. It has also revealed new potential therapeutic targets or strategies for treating or preventing various metabolic, reproductive, cognitive and emotional disorders. In this podcast, we will dive deeper into the fascinating world of osteocalcin and bone endocrinology with Gerard Karsently himself.
Berger JM, Karsenty G. Osteocalcin and the physiology of danger. FEBS Lett. 2022;596(5):665-680. doi:10.1002/1873-3468.1425