Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
. 2017 Oct 1;97(4):1295-1349.
doi: 10.1152/physrev.00036.2016.

Osteoimmunology: The Conceptual Framework Unifying the Immune and Skeletal Systems

Affiliations
Free article
Review

Osteoimmunology: The Conceptual Framework Unifying the Immune and Skeletal Systems

Kazuo Okamoto et al. Physiol Rev. .
Free article

Abstract

The immune and skeletal systems share a variety of molecules, including cytokines, chemokines, hormones, receptors, and transcription factors. Bone cells interact with immune cells under physiological and pathological conditions. Osteoimmunology was created as a new interdisciplinary field in large part to highlight the shared molecules and reciprocal interactions between the two systems in both heath and disease. Receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) plays an essential role not only in the development of immune organs and bones, but also in autoimmune diseases affecting bone, thus effectively comprising the molecule that links the two systems. Here we review the function, gene regulation, and signal transduction of osteoimmune molecules, including RANKL, in the context of osteoclastogenesis as well as multiple other regulatory functions. Osteoimmunology has become indispensable for understanding the pathogenesis of a number of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We review the various osteoimmune pathologies, including the bone destruction in RA, in which pathogenic helper T cell subsets [such as IL-17-expressing helper T (Th17) cells] induce bone erosion through aberrant RANKL expression. We also focus on cellular interactions and the identification of the communication factors in the bone marrow, discussing the contribution of bone cells to the maintenance and regulation of hematopoietic stem and progenitors cells. Thus the time has come for a basic reappraisal of the framework for understanding both the immune and bone systems. The concept of a unified osteoimmune system will be absolutely indispensable for basic and translational approaches to diseases related to bone and/or the immune system.

Similar articles

  • Osteoimmunology.
    Okamoto K, Takayanagi H. Okamoto K, et al. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2019 Jan 2;9(1):a031245. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a031245. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2019. PMID: 29610150 Free PMC article. Review.
  • Immunology and bone.
    Danks L, Takayanagi H. Danks L, et al. J Biochem. 2013 Jul;154(1):29-39. doi: 10.1093/jb/mvt049. Epub 2013 Jun 7. J Biochem. 2013. PMID: 23750028 Review.
  • New insights into osteoclastogenic signaling mechanisms.
    Nakashima T, Hayashi M, Takayanagi H. Nakashima T, et al. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Nov;23(11):582-90. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2012.05.005. Epub 2012 Jun 15. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2012. PMID: 22705116 Review.
  • Osteoimmunology: crosstalk between the immune and bone systems.
    Nakashima T, Takayanagi H. Nakashima T, et al. J Clin Immunol. 2009 Sep;29(5):555-67. doi: 10.1007/s10875-009-9316-6. Epub 2009 Jul 8. J Clin Immunol. 2009. PMID: 19585227 Review.
  • Osteoimmunology.
    Rauner M, Sipos W, Pietschmann P. Rauner M, et al. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2007;143(1):31-48. doi: 10.1159/000098223. Epub 2006 Dec 22. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2007. PMID: 17191007 Review.
See all similar articles

Cited by 51 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback