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PLoS One. 2017 Aug 3;12(8):e0181133. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181133. eCollection 2017.

Role of glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) in inflammatory bone loss.

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Departments of Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, United States of America.
Departments of Oral Biology, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, United States of America.
Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, United States of America.


TNF-α plays a key role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bone loss. Unfortunately, treatment of RA with anti-inflammatory glucocorticoids (GCs) also causes bone loss resulting in osteoporosis. Our previous studies showed that overexpression of glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ), a mediator of GC's anti-inflammatory effect, can enhance osteogenic differentiation in vitro and bone acquisition in vivo. To investigate whether GILZ could antagonize TNF-α-induced arthritic inflammation and protect bone in mice, we generated a TNF-α-GILZ double transgenic mouse line (TNF-GILZ Tg) by crossbreeding a TNF-α Tg mouse, which ubiquitously expresses human TNF-α, with a GILZ Tg mouse, which expresses mouse GILZ under the control of a 3.6kb rat type I collagen promoter fragment. Results showed that overexpression of GILZ in bone marrow mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells protected mice from TNF-α-induced inflammatory bone loss and improved bone integrity (TNF-GILZ double Tg vs. TNF-αTg, n = 12-15). However, mesenchymal cell lineage restricted GILZ expression had limited effects on TNF-α-induced arthritic inflammation as indicated by clinical scores and serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.

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