CX3CL1 deficiency ameliorates inflammation, apoptosis and accelerates osteogenic differentiation, mineralization in LPS-treated MC3T3-E1 cells via its receptor CX3CR1

Ann Anat. 2023 Feb:246:152036. doi: 10.1016/j.aanat.2022.152036. Epub 2022 Nov 24.


Background: Osteoporosis is a devastating skeletal disease responsible for bone fragility and fracture. CX3C chemokine ligand 1 (CX3CL1) is an inflammatory chemokine which has been identified to possess increased expression in the serum of postmenopausal osteoporotic patients. This paper was to illuminate the impacts of CX3CL1 on inflammation, apoptosis and osteogenic differentiation, mineralization in LPS-treated osteoblasts and investigate the regulatory mechanism.

Methods: The viability of MC3T3-E1 cells exposed to elevating doses of LPS was detected by CCK-8 assay. CX3CL1 and C-X3-C motif chemokine receptor 1 (CX3CR1) expression were detected by RT-qPCR and western blot. CX3CR1 expression was examined again following CX3CL1 depletion. The binding of CX3CL1 with CX3CR1 was testified through Co-IP assay. In MC3T3-E1 cells co-transduced with CX3CL1 interference and CX3CR1 overexpression plasmids following LPS exposure, cell activity and inflammation were separately estimated via CCK-8 assay and RT-qPCR. Apoptosis was measured by TUNEL assay and western blot. Osteoblast differentiation was evaluated by ALP activity assay, RT-qPCR and western blot. Osteoblast mineralization was assessed by ARS staining, RT-qPCR and western blot. Results The experimental data presented that LPS attenuated the viability and enhanced CX3CL1 and CX3CR1 expression in MC3T3-E1 cells in a dose-dependent manner. CX3CR1 interacted with CX3CL1 and was positively modulated by CX3CL1. The suppressive role of CX3CL1 absence in LPS-evoked viability decrease, inflammation and apoptosis in MC3T3-E1 cells was reversed by CX3CR1 elevation. Besides, CX3CR1 reversed the promoted osteoblast differentiation and mineralization imposed by CX3CL1 interference.

Conclusions: CX3CL1 knockdown eased inflammation, apoptosis and promoted osteogenic differentiation, mineralization in MC3T3-E1 cells upon LPS exposure through down-regulating CX3CR1.

Keywords: CX3CL1; CX3CR1; Inflammation; Mineralization; Osteoblast differentiation; Osteoporosis.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • CX3C Chemokine Receptor 1 / metabolism
  • Calcinosis*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Chemokine CX3CL1 / metabolism
  • Chemokines, CX3C* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity
  • Osteoblasts
  • Osteogenesis


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Ligands
  • Chemokines, CX3C
  • CX3CR1 protein, human
  • CX3C Chemokine Receptor 1
  • CX3CL1 protein, human
  • Chemokine CX3CL1