Interleukin-6 and interleukin-11 support human osteoclast formation by a RANKL-independent mechanism

Bone. 2003 Jan;32(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/s8756-3282(02)00915-8.


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-11 (IL-11) are known to influence osteoclast formation and bone resorption. In order to determine whether IL-6 and IL-11 could independently support human osteoclast formation, these factors were added to cultures of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells of the monocyte (CD14(+)) fraction in the presence of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF). Under these conditions, IL-6 and IL-11 induced the formation of multinucleated cells which were positive for TRAP, VNR, and calcitonin receptor and capable of lacunar resorption. Osteoclastogenesis induced by IL-6 and IL-11 was inhibited by the addition of an anti-gp130 antibody but not by osteoprotegerin. These results indicate that IL-6 and IL-11, which are thought to play a role in several osteolytic bone disorders, are directly capable of inducing osteoclast formation by a RANKL-independent mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase / biosynthesis
  • Adult
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-11 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology*
  • Isoenzymes / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoclasts / cytology*
  • Osteoclasts / physiology*
  • Osteoclasts / ultrastructure
  • RANK Ligand
  • Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Tartrate-Resistant Acid Phosphatase


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Interleukin-11
  • Interleukin-6
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RANK Ligand
  • Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • TNFRSF11A protein, human
  • TNFSF11 protein, human
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Tartrate-Resistant Acid Phosphatase