The osteogenic effect of liraglutide involves enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis in osteoblasts.


Division of Endocrinology and Center for Research in Anabolic Skeletal Target in Health and Illness (ASTHI), Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Lucknow 226031, India; AcSIR, CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute Campus, Lucknow 226031, India. Electronic address: [Email]


Liraglutide (Lira), a long-acting glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP1R) agonist reduces glycosylated hemoglobin in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Lira is reported to have bone conserving effect in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Here, we investigated the osteoanabolic effect of Lira and studied the underlying mechanism. In established osteopenic OVX rats, Lira completely restored bone mass and strength comparable to parathyroid hormone (PTH 1-34). Body mass index normalized bone mineral density of Lira was higher than PTH. The serum levels of osteogenic surrogate pro-collagen type 1 N-terminal pro-peptide (P1NP) and surface referent bone formation parameters were comparable between Lira and PTH. GLP1R, adiponectin receptor 1 (AdipoR1) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC1α) levels in bones were downregulated in the OVX group but restored in the Lira group whereas PTH had no effect. In cultured osteoblasts, Lira time-dependently increased GLP1R, AdipoR1 and PGC1α expression. In osteoblasts, Lira rapidly phosphorylated AMP-dependent protein kinase (AMPK), the cellular energy sensor. Exendin 3, a selective GLP1R antagonist and PKA inhibitor H89 blocked Lira-induced increases in osteoblast differentiation, and expression levels of AdipoR1 and PGC1α. Furthermore, H89 inhibited Lira-induced phosphorylation of AMPK and dorsomorphin, an AMPK inhibitor blocked the Lira-induced increases in osteoblast differentiation and AdipoR1 and PGC1α levels. Lira increased mitochondrial number, respiratory proteins and respiration in osteoblasts in vitro and in vivo, and blocking mitochondrial respiration mitigated Lira-induced osteoblast differentiation. Taken together, our data show that Lira has a strong osteoanabolic effect which involves upregulation of mitochondrial function.


Adiponectin receptor,Bone strength,Glucagon-like peptide,Mitochondrial biogenesis,Osteoanabolic,

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