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AIDS Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 103072, 5 pages
Research Article

Assessing the Association between Leptin and Bone Mineral Density in HIV-Infected Men

1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
2Division of Endocrinology, San Francisco General Hospital, 1001 Potrero Avenue, Building 30 Room 3501K, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
3Division of Hematology and Oncology, San Francisco General Hospital, 995 Potrero Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
4Daiichi Sankyo Pharma Development, 399 Thornall Street N. 45, Edison, NJ 08837, USA
5Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, 1093 Haring Hall, Davis, CA 95616, USA
6Department of Medicine, University General Hospital of Larissa, University of Thessaly, Mezourlo, TK 411-10 Larissa, Greece

Received 3 February 2012; Accepted 3 July 2012

Academic Editor: Glenda Gray

Copyright © 2012 Madhu N. Rao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


HIV-infected individuals are at risk for decreased bone mineral density (BMD). The known risk factors for bone loss do not fully explain the increased risk in this population. There is emerging evidence that leptin, a hormone secreted by adipocytes, plays an important role in bone metabolism. Several studies have assessed the relationship between leptin and bone density in healthy adults, but there are few such studies in HIV-infected individuals. Furthermore, HIV infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy are at increased risk for altered fat distribution, which may impact the relationship between leptin and BMD. In a cross-sectional analysis of data in 107 HIV-infected men, we determined whether serum leptin levels were associated with whole-body BMD and bone mineral content measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), after adjusting for confounders including body fat distribution. We found an inverse association between leptin and bone density in those with peripheral lipoatrophy, defined objectively as <3 kg appendicular fat by DEXA, but no such relationship was seen in those with >3 kg appendicular fat. This result suggests that fat distribution may modify the relationship between leptin and bone density.