Physical activity and hypocaloric diet recovers osteoblasts homeostasis in women affected by abdominal obesity

Viviana M. Bimonte, Simona Fittipaldi, Chiara Marocco, Gian Pietro Emerenziani, Rachele Fornari, Laura Guidetti, Eleonora Poggiogalle, Emanuele Nicolai, Luigi Di Luigi, Lorenzo M. Donini, Carlo Baldari, Andrea Lenzi, Emanuela A. Greco, Silvia Migliaccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obesity is a multifactorial disease linked to metabolic chronic disorders such as diabetes, and hypertension. Also, it has recently been associated with skeletal alterations and low bone mineral density. We previously demonstrated that exposure of osteoblasts to sera of sedentary subjects affected by obesity alters cell homeostasis in vitro, leading to disruption of intracellular differentiation pathways and cellular activity. Thus, the purpose of the present study has been to evaluate whether sera of sedentary obese women, subjected to physical activity and hypocaloric diet, could recover osteoblast homeostasis in vitro as compared to the sera of same patients before intervention protocol. To this aim, obese women were evaluated at time 0 and after 4, 6, and 12 months of individualized prescribed physical activity and hypocaloric diet. Dual-energy-X-ray absorptiometry measurements were performed at each time point, as well as blood was collected at the same points. Cells were incubated with sera of subjects before and after physical activity as described: obese at baseline and after for 4, 6, and 12 months of physical activity and nutritional protocol intervention. Osteoblasts exposed to sera of patients, who displayed increased lean and decreased fat mass (from 55.5 ± 6.5 to 57.1 ± 5.6% p ≤ 0.05; from 44.5 ± 1.1 to 40.9 ± 2.6% p ≤ 0.01 respectively), showed a time-dependent increase of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, versus cells exposed to sera of obese patients before intervention protocol, suggesting recovery of osteoblast homeostasis upon improvement of body composition. An increase in β-catenin nuclear accumulation and nuclear translocation was also observed, accompanied by an increase in Adiponectin receptor 1 protein expression, suggesting positive effect on cell differentiation program. Furthermore, a decrease in sclerostin amount and an increase of type 1 procollagen amino-terminal-propeptide were depicted as compared to baseline, proportionally to the time of physical activity, suggesting a recovery of bone remodeling modulation and an increase of osteoblast activity induced by improvement of body composition. In conclusion, our results show for the first time that sera of obese sedentary women who increased lean mass and decreased fat mass, by physical activity and hypocaloric diet, rescue osteoblasts differentiation and activity likely due to a reactivation of Wnt/β-catenin-pathway, suggesting that a correct life style can improve skeletal metabolic alteration induced by obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 16 2016


  • Obesity
  • Osteoblast homeostasis
  • Physical activity
  • Visceral adipose tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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