Systemic leptin administration alters callus VEGF levels and enhances bone fracture healing in wildtype and ob/ob mice
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Introduction: Leptin's role in bone formation has been reported, however, its mechanism of affecting bone metabolism is remaining unclear. In this study, we aimed to test whether leptin has a positive effect on fracture healing through the possible mechanism of increasing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in callus tissue. Methods: Standardized femur fractures were created in leptin-deficient ob/ob and wildtype C57BL/6J mice, and recombinant mouse leptin or its vehicle (physiological saline) was administered intraperitoneally during the study. Body weight, radiological, histologic and immunoblotting analyses were performed at different stages of fracture healing. Key findings: The results showed that leptin treatment led to lower rate of body weight change in both mice genotypes. Radiological and histological analyses showed that the experimental groups had better fracture healing at 14, 21 and 28 days compared to the control groups. Leptin-treated groups had signi?cantly higher VEGF expression in callus compared with the control groups at 2 and 3 weeks post-fracture except normal mice at 2 weeks, and leptin-deficient mice had higher VEGF levels in calluses than normal mice at the same timepoint. Conclusion: Low-dose systemically-administered leptin has a positive effect on promoting fracture healing during the latter stages in a clinically-relevant mouse bone fracture model, and increase callus VEGF levels.
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