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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Feb 23;281(2):361-6.

Interleukin-18 up-regulates osteoprotegerin expression in stromal/osteoblastic cells.

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Department of Pathology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan.


Osteoprotegerin (OPG) and osteoclast differentiation factor (ODF) are crucial regulators of osteoclastogenesis. To determine the biological role of interleukin (IL)-18 produced by stromal/osteoblastic cells in osteoclastogenesis, we examined the effects of IL-18 on the OPG and ODF mRNA levels in these cells. When bone marrow stromal ST2 cells, osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells, and mouse calvarial osteoblasts were stimulated with IL-18, the expression of OPG mRNA, but not ODF mRNA, was transiently increased, its expression reaching a maximal level at 3 h after the beginning of the culture. In accordance with this observation, all these cells expressed the mRNAs of two IL-18 receptor components and MyD88, an adapter molecule involved in IL-18 signaling. Moreover, in these cells, mitogen-activated protein kinase was phosphorylated after stimulation with IL-18. These results suggest that stromal/osteoblastic cells are IL-18-responsive cells and that IL-18 may inhibit osteoclastogenesis by up-regulating OPG expression, without stimulation of ODF production, in stromal/osteoblastic cells.

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