Bariatric surgeries are integral to the management of obesity and its metabolic complications. However, these surgeries cause bone loss and increase fracture risk through poorly understood mechanisms. In a mouse model, vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) caused trabecular and cortical bone loss that was independent of sex, body weight, and diet, and this loss was characterized by impaired osteoid mineralization and bone formation. VSG had a profound effect on the bone marrow niche, with rapid loss of marrow adipose tissue, and expansion of myeloid cellularity, leading to increased circulating neutrophils. Following VSG, circulating granulocyte–colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) was increased in mice, and was transiently elevated in a longitudinal study of humans. Elevation of G-CSF was found to recapitulate many effects of VSG on bone and the marrow niche. In addition to stimulatory effects of G-CSF on myelopoiesis, endogenous G-CSF suppressed development of marrow adipocytes and hindered accrual of peak cortical and trabecular bone. Effects of VSG on induction of neutrophils and depletion of marrow adiposity were reduced in mice deficient for G-CSF; however, bone mass was not influenced. Although not a primary mechanism for bone loss with VSG, G-CSF plays an intermediary role for effects of VSG on the bone marrow niche.


Ziru Li, Julie Hardij, Simon S. Evers, Chelsea R. Hutch, Sarah M. Choi, Yikai Shao, Brian S. Learman, Kenneth T. Lewis, Rebecca L. Schill, Hiroyuki Mori, Devika P. Bagchi, Steven M. Romanelli, Ki-Suk Kim, Emily Bowers, Cameron Griffin, Randy J. Seeley, Kanakadurga Singer, Darleen A. Sandoval, Clifford J. Rosen, Ormond A. MacDougald


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