Research in the journal Endocrinology indicates that exercise may partially reduce the risk for increased marrow adipose tissue associated with both diabetes and peroxisome proliferator-activated gamma agonists (PPAR-gamma) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Maya Styner, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, and colleagues designed a study in which female mice were assigned to a group with 20 mg/kg per day of rosiglitazone or a control group; exercise groups ran 12 km per day on running wheels. 

Femoral MAT volume and tibial bone morphology were evaluated by microcomputer tomography after 6 weeks.

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Mice receiving rosiglitazone therapy had a 40% higher femur MAT volume compared with the control group. Exercise suppressed MAT volume by half in the control mice who exercised vs. control mice who did not and 19% in the rosiglitazone-exercise arm compared with rosiglitazone alone. 

“Our field is just beginning to investigate bone fat and its implications for patients,” Styner said in a statement. She also noted that more marrow adipose tissue means less actual bone, which increases the risk for bone fractures. 

Clinicians and patients should be aware of this risk and mitigate contributing factors, she concluded.


  1. Styner M et al. Endocrinology. 2015;doi:10.1210/en.2015-1213.

This article originally appeared on MPR