Osteoclastogenesis is enhanced by activated B cells but suppressed by activated CD8(+) T cells

Eur J Immunol. 2001 Jul;31(7):2179-88. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(200107)31:7<2179::aid-immu2179>3.0.co;2-x.


Host immune response is known to contribute to the progression of periodontitis, and alveolar bone destruction in periodontitis is associated with enhanced osteoclast activity. Therefore, we evaluated the roles of activated lymphocyte subsets in osteoclastogenesis. Osteoclast precursors were co-cultured with activated lymphocytes (B, CD4(+) T, CD8(+) T) in the presence of either macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) alone or M-CSF plus soluble receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand (sRANKL), and subsequent differentiation into active osteoclasts was evaluated by a resorption assay. The activated B and CD4(+) cells, but not CD8(+) T cells, induced osteoclast differentiation in the presence of M-CSF alone. In the presence of M-CSF and sRANKL, B cells induced the formation of small but highly active osteoclasts and increased resorption, while CD8(+) T cells profoundly suppressed osteoclastogenesis. Co-culture using an insert well or supernatant suggested that both B and CD8(+) T cells acted on osteoclasts mostly via soluble proteins. Activated B cells expressed many osteoclastogenic factors including RANKL, TNF-alpha, IL-6, MIP-1alpha, and MCP-3. CD8(+) T cells expressed a substantial amount of osteoprotegerin (OPG) along with RANKL. However, blocking antibody to OPG did not reverse the suppression by CD8(+) T cells, suggesting that other factor(s) are involved. Taken together, activated B cells promoted osteoclastogenesis, while CD8(+) T cells inhibited the osteoclast formation via direct interaction. The results imply the importance of lymphocyte subpopulations in the development of periodontitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Carrier Proteins / pharmacology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokines / biosynthesis
  • Chemokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Osteoclasts / cytology
  • Osteoclasts / physiology*
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • RANK Ligand
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / immunology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Stem Cells / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • RANK Ligand
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tnfrsf11a protein, mouse
  • Tnfrsf11b protein, mouse
  • Tnfsf11 protein, mouse
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor