Inflammation-induced bone destruction is a major treatment target in many inflammatory skeletal diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate if the cysteine proteinase inhibitors cystatin C, fungal cysteine proteinase inhibitor (E-64), and N-benzyloxycarbonyl-arginyl-leucyl-valyl-glycyl-diazomethane acetate (Z-RLVG-CHN2) can inhibit LPS-induced osteoclast formation. Mouse bone marrow macrophages (BMMs) were isolated and primed with receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) for 24 h, followed by stimulation with LPS, with and without inhibitors. Adult mice were injected locally with LPS and then treated with E-64 and osteoclast formation assessed by the number of cathepsin K+ multinucleated cells. Cystatin C inhibited LPS-induced osteoclast formation time and concentration dependently (IC50 = 0.3 μM). The effect was associated with decreased mRNA and protein expression of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) and cathepsin K and of the osteoclastogenic transcription factors c-Fos and NFATc1. LPS-induced osteoclast formation on bone slices was also inhibited by cystatin C, resulting in decreased pit formation and release of bone matrix proteins. Similar data were obtained with E-64 and Z-RLVG-CHN2 Cystatin C was internalized in BMMs stimulated by LPS but not in unstimulated BMMs. Osteoclast formation induced by LPS was dependent on TNF-α, and the 3 inhibitors abolished LPS-induced TNF superfamily 2 (gene encoding TNF-α; Tnfsf2) mRNA expression without affecting Il1b, Il6, or oncostatin M (Osm) expression. Formation of osteoclasts in the skull bones after local LPS stimulation was inhibited by E-64. It is concluded that cysteine proteinase inhibitors effectively inhibit LPS-induced osteoclast formation in vivo and in vitro by inhibition of TNF-α expression. The targeting of cysteine proteinases might represent a novel treatment modality for prevention of inflammatory bone loss.
Keywords: cystatin C; inflammation; macrophages; periodontitis; rheumatoid arthritis.
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