Contact: Karin Eskenazi
Columbia University Medical Center
Caption: During pregnancy, the bone hormone osteocalcin is produced by the mother; it crosses the placenta, to reach the fetus, where it promotes the formation of the hippocampus and the development of spatial learning and memory. Postnatally, osteocalcin crosses the blood-brain barrier, to act in various regions of the brain, including the hippocampus, where it causes changes in brain chemistry that help prevent anxiety and depression and improve spatial learning and memory.
Credit: Gerard Karsenty, MD, PhD and Franck Oury, PhD/Columbia University Medical Center
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