Obesity is an important risk factor for osteoporosis and fractures. With the growing prevalence of obesity in the U.S., understanding the pathophysiology of bone loss in this population is of importance to public health. Growth hormone (GH) is a critical mediator of bone homeostasis and is markedly reduced in obesity. Our preliminary data suggest an important role for the GH/insulin-like growth factor 1 system in the pathogenesis of bone loss in obesity. The development of novel imaging techniques provides an opportunity to investigate the effects of GH on skeletal structure and strength, which will provide insights into the pathogenesis of obesity related bone loss. Understanding the pathophysiology of bone loss in obesity may help identify new treatment targets for this important complication. We have assembled a team of investigators with extensive experience in patient-oriented research in endocrinology and radiology to perform these investigations.
Obesity is an important recently identified risk factor for osteoporosis. However, the factors responsible for bone loss in this population are not known. Growth hormone is critical for bone health and is markedly reduced in obesity. In this proposal, we will investigate the effects of growth hormone on bone structure and strength using novel radiology techniques to provide insights into the pathogenesis of obesity-related bone loss.