Reduced Serum IGF-1 Associated With Hepatic Osteodystrophy Is a Main Determinant of Low Cortical but Not Trabecular Bone Mass

Zhongbo Liu, Tianzhen Han, Haim Werner, Clifford J. Rosen, Mitchell B. Schaffler, Shoshana Yakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatic osteodystrophy is multifactorial in its pathogenesis. Numerous studies have shown that impairments of the hepatic growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis (GH/IGF-1) are common in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, chronic viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and chronic cholestatic liver disease. Moreover, these conditions are also associated with low bone mineral density (BMD) and greater fracture risk, particularly in cortical bone sites. Hence, we addressed whether disruptions in the GH/IGF-1 axis were causally related to the low bone mass in states of chronic liver disease using a mouse model of liver-specific GH-receptor (GHR) gene deletion (Li-GHRKO). These mice exhibit chronic hepatic steatosis, local inflammation, and reduced BMD. We then employed a crossing strategy to restore liver production of IGF-1 via hepatic IGF-1 transgene (HIT). The resultant Li-GHRKO-HIT mouse model allowed us to dissect the roles of liver-derived IGF-1 in the pathogenesis of osteodystrophy during liver disease. We found that hepatic IGF-1 restored cortical bone acquisition, microarchitecture, and mechanical properties during growth in Li-GHRKO-HIT mice, which was maintained during aging. However, trabecular bone volume was not restored in the Li-GHRKO-HIT mice. We found increased bone resorption indices in vivo as well as increased basal reactive oxygen species and increased mitochondrial stress in osteoblast cultures from Li-GHRKO and the Li-GHRKO-HIT compared with control mice. Changes in systemic markers such as inflammatory cytokines, osteoprotegerin, osteopontin, parathyroid hormone, osteocalcin, or carboxy-terminal collagen cross-links could not fully account for the diminished trabecular bone in the Li-GHRKO-HIT mice. Thus, the reduced serum IGF-1 associated with hepatic osteodystrophy is a main determinant of low cortical but not trabecular bone mass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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