The emergence of bone as an endocrine organ able to influence whole body metabolism, together with comorbid epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and osteoporosis, have prompted a renewed interest in the intermediary metabolism of the osteoblast. To date, most studies have focused on the utilization of glucose by this specialized cell, but the oxidation of fatty acids results in a larger energy yield. Osteoblasts express the requisite receptors and catabolic enzymes to take up and then metabolize fatty acids, which appears to be required during later stages of differentiation when the osteoblast is dedicated to matrix production and mineralization. In this article, we provide an overview of fatty acid β-oxidation and highlight studies demonstrating that the skeleton plays a significant role in the clearance of circulating lipoproteins and non-esterified fatty acids. Additionally, we review the requirement for long-chain fatty acid metabolism during post-natal bone development and the effects of anabolic stimuli on fatty acid utilization by osteoblasts. These recent findings may help to explain the skeletal manifestations of human diseases associated with impaired lipid metabolism while also providing additional insights into the metabolic requirements of skeletal homeostasis.
- Energy homeostasis
- Lipid metabolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism