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Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Sep;93:149-154. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2018.06.007. Epub 2018 Jun 6.

N-acetyl cysteine inhibits lipopolysaccharide-mediated induction of interleukin-6 synthesis in MC3T3-E1 cells through the NF-kB signaling pathway.

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Hospital of Stomatology Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan, PR China.
Zigong First People's Hospital, Zigong, Sichuan, PR China.
West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Renminnanlu 3rd Part 14#, Chengdu, PR China. Electronic address:



Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a potent stimulator of osteoclastic activity. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been shown to regulate the expression of potent inflammatory factors, including TNF-α and IL-6. Currently, effective therapeutic treatments for bacteria-caused bone destruction are limited. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant small molecule that possibly modulates osteoblastic differentiation. However, whether NAC can affect the LPS-mediated reduction of IL-6 synthesis in MC3T3-E1 cells is still unknown.


The aim of this study was to investigate the role of NAC in the LPS -mediated reduction of IL-6 synthesis by MC3T3-E1 cells and to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms. In addition, we aimed to determine the involvement of the NF-kB pathway in any changes in IL-6 expression observed in response to LPS and NAC.


MC3T3-E1 cells (ATCC, CRL-2593) were cultured in α-minimum essential medium. Cells were stimulated using NAC or LPS at various concentrations. Cell proliferation was observed at multiple time points using a cell counting kit 8 (CCK-8). IL-6 mRNA expression and protein synthesis were determined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay analyses. NF-kB mRNA expression and protein synthesis was determined using qPCR and Western blots analyses.


The results demonstrate that LPS induced IL-6 and NF-kB mRNA expression and protein synthesis in the cultured MC3T3-E1 cells. However, these effects were abolished following pre-treatment with NAC. Pretreatment with NAC (1 mmol/l) or BAY11-7082 (10 μmol/l) both significantly inhibited the NF-kB activity induced by LPS.


NAC inhibits the LPS-mediated induction of IL-6 synthesis in MC3T3-E1 cells through the NF-kB pathway.


Interleukin-6; Lipopolysaccharide; MC3T3-E1 cells; N-acetyl cysteine; NF-KB pathway

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