Bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone formation by osteoblasts are tightly coupled processes implicating factors in TNF, bone morphogenetic protein, and Wnt families. In osteoimmunology, macrophages were described as another critical cell population regulating bone formation by osteoblasts but the coupling factors were not identified. Using a high-throughput approach, we identified here Oncostatin M (OSM), a cytokine of the IL-6 family, as a major coupling factor produced by activated circulating CD14+ or bone marrow CD11b+ monocytes/macrophages that induce osteoblast differentiation and matrix mineralization from human mesenchymal stem cells while inhibiting adipogenesis. Upon activation of toll-like receptors (TLRs) by lipopolysaccharide or endogenous ligands, OSM was produced in classically activated inflammatory M1 and not M2 macrophages, through a cyclooxygenase-2 and prostaglandin-E2 regulatory loop. Stimulation of osteogenesis by activated monocytes/macrophages was prevented using neutralizing antibodies or siRNA to OSM, OSM receptor subunits gp130 and OSMR, or to the downstream transcription factor STAT3. The induced osteoblast differentiation program culminated with enhanced expression of CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein δ, Cbfa1, and alkaline phosphatase. Overexpression of OSM in the tibia of mice has led to new bone apposition with no sign of bone resorption. Two other cytokines have also a potent role in bone formation induced by monocytes/macrophages and activation of TLRs: IL-6 and leukemia inhibitory factor. We propose that during bone inflammation, infection, or injury, the IL-6 family signaling network activated by macrophages and TLR ligands stimulates bone formation that is largely uncoupled from bone resorption and is thus an important target for anabolic bone therapies.
Copyright © 2012 AlphaMed Press.